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基督復臨安息日會

廿七條基本信仰

        基督復臨安息日會接受聖經為唯一的信仰根基,並持有廿七條聖經信仰要道。以下這些信仰表白,表示教會已明白聖經的教導。若要修訂這些要道,必需要在全球代表大會受聖靈的帶領下,完全明白聖經真理,並獲得更好的辭語,來表達上帝的聖言,才可進行。

一、上帝的聖言  聖經──新舊約聖經,乃是上帝的聖言。由上帝所默示,藉著聖潔的神人被聖靈感動寫成經卷。在聖經中,上帝將得救所需的知識賜給人。聖經是上帝旨意無誤的啟示。是測定品格的標準,是經驗的試金石,亦是各項教訓之權威,且是上帝在歷史中的作為之忠實記錄。(彼後12021;提後31617;詩119105;箴:3056;賽820;約1717;帖前213;來412

二、
三一真神  聖經告訴我們,有一上帝:父、子、聖靈,為同時永恆存在的三一真神。上帝是不死的,超乎一切,祂是全知、全能、無所不在者。祂是無窮的上帝,超乎人的理解,但是藉著祂的自我啟示仍能為人所知。祂永遠配受全體受造之物的敬拜、讚美,與事奉。(申64;太2819;林後1314;弗446;彼前12;提前117;啟147

三、
父上帝  永在的父上帝是創造主,萬物的根源,維持者,及一切受造之物的統治者。祂公義、聖潔、恩慈,充滿憐憫,不輕易發怒,滿有信實與堅定的愛。聖子和聖靈所顯示的品德與權能,也顯明了聖父。(創11;啟411;林前1528;約316;約壹48;提前117;出3467;約1419

四、子上帝  永在的子上帝已在耶穌基督裡成為肉身。藉著祂創造萬物,上帝的聖德因祂彰顯,人類的救贖大工得以完成,這世界受了審判。永遠是真實的神,也成了真實的人耶穌基督。祂是由聖靈成孕,為處女馬利亞所生。祂作為人,度過人的生活並遭受試探,完美地表現了上帝的愛與公義。祂所行的神蹟,彰顯了上帝的大能。證明祂是應許的彌賽亞。祂在十字架上自願為我們的罪,代我們受苦受死。祂已從死裡復活、升天,在天上聖所為我們服務。最後,祂將在榮耀中復臨,拯救祂的百姓,並使萬物復興。(約11314;西11519;約1030149;羅623;林後51719;約522;路135;腓2511;來2918;林前1534;來812;約1413

五、聖靈上帝  永在的聖靈上帝,在創造、道成肉身及救贖上,都曾積極參與。祂曾感動聖經的作者們,也曾以能力充滿基督的生命。祂吸引人、感動人,那回應祂感動的人,祂就更新、變化他,使他成為上帝的形像。祂受父及子差遣,常與上帝的兒女同在。祂賜下屬靈的恩賜給教會,使其有能力為基督作見證,並與聖經相和諧,引領教會明白一切真理。(創112;路135418;徒1038;彼後121;林後318;弗41112;徒18;約1416182615262716713

六、
創造  上帝是萬物的創造主,祂創造的真實過程,已在聖經中記錄下來。六日之內耶和華造天地萬物,在第一週的第七日安息。因此,祂設立了安息日作為祂創造大功的永久紀念日。那第一個男人和女人是按照上帝形象所創造的頂尖傑作,曾蒙賜予管理和照顧這個世界的權柄。世界被造完成時,乃是「甚好」,它在宣揚上帝的榮耀。(創12;出20811;詩19163369104;來113

七、人的性質  男女都是按照上帝的形像受造,具有個性,有思想行為,能力與自由。雖然各自受造成為自由的生靈,但各人都有自己的身、心、靈之不可分的整體;他們的生命、氣息,及一切都需依靠上帝。當我們的始祖違背上帝時,因他們不信靠祂,就從崇高的地位墮落了。他們的上帝形像已被破壞,因此必須死亡。他們的後裔承受了這種墮落的性質與後果,出生時就有人性的軟弱,並傾向罪惡。但是上帝在基督裡叫世人與祂和好,並藉著聖靈在悔改的人身上恢復創造主的形像。他們受造是為了榮耀上帝,蒙召是為了愛祂和彼此相愛,並且要看顧他們所居住的環境。(創1262827;詩848;徒172428;創3124;詩515;羅51217;林後51920;詩5110;約4781120;創215 

八、善惡之爭  基督與撒但之間的善惡大鬥爭,泱及上帝的聖德,祂的律法,及祂對宇宙的統治權,現在整個人類都受到牽連。這場爭戰起始於天庭,那時,一個受造能作自由選擇的生靈,因高抬自我,變成了撒但,成了上帝的仇敵。他領導部分天使參與反叛,又引誘亞當夏娃犯罪,使背叛的精神進入了這個世界。因人類犯罪,導致上帝在人身上的形像遭到扭曲,受造世界的秩序被破壞,終於導致洪水滅世。受造的全宇宙諸世界都正在觀看,這個世界已經成為宇宙爭戰的舞台。從這場大爭戰中,上帝的慈愛終必清楚地彰顯。為了在這場爭戰中幫助祂的子民,基督差遣聖靈及忠誠的天使,在他們得救的路上,一路引導、保護,及支持他們。(啟1249;賽141214;結281218;創3124;羅119325122181922;創68;彼後36;林前49;來114

九、基督的生、死與復活  人在基督完全順從上帝旨意的生活中,看到祂的受苦、受死、與復活,是上帝準備為人類贖罪之唯一方法。使凡藉著信心接受這項贖罪的人能得永生,並使全體受造之物更明白創造主無窮聖潔的愛。這項完全的救贖,闡明了上帝律法的公義,及祂品德的慈愛,因祂一面定我們的罪,一面卻為我們準備了救贖。基督的死是代替人贖罪,使人心改變,願與上帝和好。基督的復活宣告上帝勝過了罪惡的勢力,並保證那些接受救贖的人最後會戰勝罪惡與死亡。它宣告耶穌基督是主,使一切在天上和地上的,在祂面前,無不屈膝。(約316;賽53;彼前22122;林前15342022;林後514151921;羅14325425834;約壹22410;西215;腓2611

十、得救的經驗  上帝因祂無限的慈愛與憐憫,使那無罪的基督為我們成為罪,為要使我們在祂裡面成為上帝的義。我們在聖靈領導下,感覺自己的需要,承認自己的罪孽深重,悔改我們的罪愆,並相信耶穌為主、為基督、為代罪者、為我們的榜樣。這項領受救恩的信心,乃得自上帝聖言的大能,為上帝的恩典所賜。藉著基督我們被稱為義,被收納為上帝的兒女,從罪的轄制中得釋放。藉聖靈我們重生,並成為聖潔。聖靈更新我們的心意,將上帝愛的律法寫在我們心上。我們蒙賜能力度聖潔的生活,我們常在祂裡面,就與祂神聖的性情有分。並如今在審判中,在得救上,都有了保證。(林後51721;約316;加14447;多337;約168;加31314;彼前22122;羅1017;路175;可92324;弗2510;羅32126;西11314;羅81417;加326;約338;彼前123;羅122;來8712;結362527;彼後134;羅8145610)

十一、教會  教會就是那承認耶穌基督為主、為救主的信徒團體。繼續舊約時代上帝的子民之後,我們蒙召從世界出來,一同聚集,為要崇拜、交通、學習上帝的聖言、舉行聖餐、服務人群,及向普世宣傳福音。教會從成為肉身的道基督,與寫下的道聖經獲得權柄。教會是上帝的家,祂所收納的兒女,活在新約的基礎上。教會是基督的身體,是以基督為首的信仰團體。教會是基督捨命使其潔淨與成聖的新婦。在祂凱旋回來時,祂會將她獻給自己,作為一個榮耀的教會,就是祂自己用寶血所買來歷代忠心的信徒,沒有玷污、皺紋等類的病,是聖潔沒有瑕疵的。(創123;徒738;弗411153811;太2819201613201818;弗219221222352327;西11718

十二、餘民及其使命  普世教會是由所有真正相信基督的人所組成。但在末日,背道廣泛蔓延之時,有一批餘民蒙召出來,遵守上帝的誡命及耶穌的真道。這批餘民宣告審判的時候已經到了。宣講靠基督恩典得救,並宣告祂復臨的日子已經臨近。這項宣告由啟示錄十四章的三位天使所預表。它與天上的審判工作同時進行,促進了地上的悔改與改革的工作。每一信徒都已蒙召親自參與此項普世的見證。(啟1217146121814;林後510;猶314;彼前11619;彼後31014;啟21114

十三、基督身體的合一  教會是由許多肢體合成的一個身體。這些肢體是從各國、各族、各方、各民選召出來的。在基督裡我們成為新造的人。種族、文化、學識、國籍的不同,以及地位、貧富、性別的差異,都不致在我們中間造成分裂。我們在基督裡都是平等的,藉著一位聖靈,基督使我們與祂並我們彼此之間都合而為一。我們要毫無保留地服事人與受人的服事。藉著耶穌基督在聖經上的啟示,我們有共同的信仰與指望,並向所有的人作出同一的見證。這種合一源自三一真神的合一,祂已收納我們為祂的兒女了。(羅1245;林前121214;太281920;詩1331;林後51617;徒172627;加32729;西31015;弗41416416;約172023

十四、洗禮  藉著洗禮,我們公開承認對耶穌基督的死與復活的信心,並見證我們對罪已經死了,及見證我們要以新生的樣式而活。這樣,我們承認基督是主,是救主,成為祂的子民,並蒙接納成為祂教會的教友。洗禮象徵我們與基督聯合,罪得蒙赦免,以及我們領受聖靈。它是全身入水,並基於對耶穌肯定的信心,及悔罪的憑據。此乃依照聖經的指導,並接受聖經的教訓後才可舉行。(羅616;西21213;徒1630332216238;太281920

十五、聖餐禮  聖餐禮所領受的無酵餅與葡萄汁是象徵耶穌的血與身體,表達我們對祂是我們的主與救主的信心。在這項聖餐禮的經歷中,基督臨格與祂的子民相會,並加強他們的力量。我們領受時,有盼望地記念主的死,直到祂來。領受聖餐的準備包括自省、悔改與認罪。主設立了洗腳禮,預表復新洗禮得潔淨,亦表示樂意帶著基督的謙卑彼此服事,並將我們的心在愛中聯合。聖餐禮是對所有信徒開放的。(林前101617112330;太261730;啟320;約6486313:1-17

十六、
屬靈的恩賜與職事  上帝在各世代都賜給祂教會每一教友屬靈的恩賜,讓每一教友用在愛心的服務上,使教會及人類都共同獲益。這些恩賜是由聖靈按著祂自己的意思分賜給各教友,供給教會一切所需的能力與職事,為了完成上帝所指定的任務。依據聖經,這些恩賜包括的職事有:信心、醫病、說預言、宣講福音、教導、治理、和好、同情、自我犧牲的服務,並幫助人鼓勵人的愛心。有些教友被上帝選召,聖靈賦予能力,從事教會所承認的職務,如牧師、傳福音的、使徒、教師,特別裝備信徒作更好的服務,以便提升教會達至靈性成熟之境,使教友在上帝的信心和知識上合而為一。當教友作上帝百般恩賜忠心的管家,並使用這些屬靈的恩賜時,教會就得到保護,免受假道的破壞與影響,獲得出於上帝的增長,並在信心與愛心中建立自己。(羅1248;林前129112728;弗481116;徒617;提前3113;彼前41011   

十七、預言的恩賜  預言是聖靈恩賜之一。這項恩賜乃是餘民教會的一項特徵,它已顯示在懷愛倫事奉上帝的工作中。她既是主的使女,所以她的著作乃是真理與權威的宣示,是可信的資源,供給教會安慰、引導、教訓、及督責。這些著作也清楚地說明,聖經是監定一切經驗與教訓的標準。(珥22829;徒21421;來113;啟12171910

十八、上帝的律法  上帝律法的諸般偉大原則,已表達在十誡中,也表現在基督的生活裡。它們表達上帝的愛,上帝的旨意,以及上帝對人的品行及各種關係上的要求,各世代的人都要遵行。這些命令乃是上帝與祂子民立約的基礎,也是上帝審判人的標準。藉著聖靈的工作,它們指出罪惡,喚起人類對救主的需要。雖然得救全是出於恩典,不是出於行為,但是遵守誡命乃是順從上帝所結的果子。順從能發展基督徒的品格,並帶給基督徒康寧感。它是我們對主的愛及對同胞關心的憑據。出於信心的順從,顯明了基督改變人生的大能,因此,加強了基督徒的見證。(出20117;詩4078; 太223640;申28114;太51720;來8810;約15710;弗2810;約壹53;羅834;詩19714

十九、安息日  那賜福的創造主,在六日創造世界大功之後,便在第七日安息了,並為所有的人設立了安息日,作為創造的紀念日。上帝那永不改變的律法的第四條誡命,要人遵守第七日為安息日,作為休息、崇拜,與傳道的日子,與安息日的主耶穌的教訓與行為相和諧。安息日是與上帝及彼此交通的喜樂日子。它是我們在基督裡蒙救贖的表徵,是我們成聖的記號,也是我們忠誠的標記,並在上帝永恆的國度中得到預嘗。安息日是上帝與祂子民之間所立永約之永恆標記。信徒喜樂地從星期五日落至星期六日落,遵守這神聖的時刻,便是對上帝創造與救贖的喜樂。(創213;出20811;路416;賽5656581314;太12112;出311317;結201220;申 51215;來4111;利2332;可132

二十、管家  我們是上帝的管家,祂托付我們時間與機會,能力與錢財,地上的福分與資源。我們要負責並適當地使用它們。我們承認上帝的所有權,所以為了要忠心事奉上帝及我們的同胞,應將什一歸還給祂,也將各樣捐款奉獻作為宣傳福音,支持教會,使教會增長。管家的職責是上帝為了培育愛心,及勝過自私與貪婪所賜給我們的一項特權。管家因他忠心的結果而使他人得福,他也就歡喜快樂了。(創12628215;代上2914;哈1311;瑪3812;林前9914;太2323;林後8115;羅152627

廿一、基督徒的品行  我們蒙召要成為一批敬虔的人民,思想、感情、行為,都與天國的原則相和諧。為了讓聖靈在我們裡面重新塑造我們有主的品格,就讓我們自己只參與那些能在我們生命中產生像基督的純潔、健康、喜樂的事。也就是說,我們的娛樂,應該合乎基督徒美好與崇高的標準。我們的衣著,雖因文化上的差異有所不同,卻當以樸素、保守、整潔為原則。因真正的美不在於外在的妝飾,而在於內在溫柔安靜的心為永遠的妝飾。這也表示,因為我們的身體是上帝的殿,我們當聰明地照顧它。除了適當的運動與休息之外,我們要盡可能採用最健康的飲食,並禁止食用聖經所指明不潔淨的食物。因含酒精的飲料、煙草、及毒品,有害我們的身體,故我們當禁戒使用它。要參與那些能將我們的思想與身體建立在基督教導的一切活動,因祂熱望我們成為有健康、喜樂與良善的人。(羅1212;約壹265121;腓48;林後10561471;彼前314;林前619201031;利11147;約三2

廿二、婚姻與家庭  婚姻是上帝在伊甸園所設立,並由耶穌所確認,為一男一女在相愛中廝守終身的結合。對基督徒而言,婚約的承諾不僅是對配偶負責,也是對上帝負責,並且這種婚姻關係,只應建立在信仰相同的男女雙方身上。彼此相愛、尊重、和有責任感,乃是構成這項關係的要素。這項關係,乃是要反映基督與祂的教會之間的愛,聖潔、親密、與永恆的關係。至於離婚,耶穌教導說,除了因犯姦淫之外,人若離棄配偶與另一個人結婚,就是犯了淫亂罪。雖然有些人的家庭關係不理想,但那在基督理充分將自己許配予對方的婚姻伴侶,仍能藉著聖靈的帶領及教會的牧養而達成相愛合一。上帝賜福家庭,使家庭成員彼此幫助,達到完全成熟之境。作父母的人,要教養兒女愛主並順從主。藉著他們的言行,他們要教導兒女,基督是一位慈愛的管教者,永遠溫柔、體貼,要他們成為祂的肢體,成為上帝家庭中的成員。家庭親密的增長,乃是末世福音信息的標誌之一。(創21825;太1939;約2111;林後614;弗52133;太53132;可101112;路1618;林前71011;出2012;弗614;申659;箴226;瑪456

 

廿三、基督在天上聖所的服務  天上有一個聖所,是主所支持的,不是人所支持的真帳幕。基督在其中為我們服務,為了使信徒能獲得祂在十字架上只一次獻上的贖罪祭的有效性,祂升到天上後,立即就任我們的大祭司,並開始祂代求的工作。在1844年,當二千三百日預言結束時,祂進入了贖罪工作的第二階段,也是最後的階段,就是查案審判的工作,是對一切罪惡最終處置的一部分,是古希伯來人在贖罪日潔淨聖所的儀式所預表的。在那預表性的祭祀中,聖所是用祭牲的血潔淨,但天上的物卻是用那完全的祭,就是耶穌的血所潔淨。查案審判是向天上眾生靈顯明,那些在基督裡死了的人,是配在第一次復活中有分的。也顯明那些在基督裡的活人,遵守上帝誡命和耶穌真道,已預備好可以變化升天,進入祂永恆的國。這項審判顯明上帝乃是公義的,因祂拯救了那相信耶穌的人。它並宣稱,那保持忠於上帝的人,將承受天國。基督復臨前,這項工作完成時,就是標明人類恩典的結束。(來81541416911281019221321617;但79278131492427;民1434;結46;利16;啟1467201214122212

廿四、
基督復臨  基督復臨是教會洪福之望,是福音最高境界。救主的降臨是真實與親身的;是肉眼能見與全球性的。祂復臨時,死去的義人將要復活,並與活著的義人一同得榮耀,被接到天上,但那不義的人卻要死亡。大多數的預言幾乎都完全應驗,目前的世界情況顯明,基督復臨已經更迫近了。但那時辰未向我們啟明,因此我們受勸告,要隨時準備好迎接祂。(多213;來928;約1413;徒1911;太2414;啟17;太244344;帖前41318;林前155154;帖後171028;啟141420191121;太24;可13;路21;提後315;帖前516

 

廿五、死亡與復活  罪的工價乃是死。但獨一不死的上帝,卻要賜永生給祂的贖民。在末日,上帝使他們復活以前,對所有死了的人,乃是一種無知覺的睡眠。當我們生命之主基督顯現時,復活的義人與活著的義人,要得榮耀,並被提到天上,與他們的主相遇。還有第二次的復活,就是不義之人的復活,則要等到一千年之後。(羅623;提前61516;傳956;詩14634;約111114;歌34;林前155154;帖前41317;約52829;啟20110

廿六、
千禧年與罪的結束  千禧年乃是第一次復活與第二次復活之間基督與聖徒在天上施行統治的時期。在此期間,已死的惡人會受審判。地會完全荒涼,沒有活人居住,但為撒但與他的使者所佔據。千禧年結束時,基督與祂的聖徒,並聖城,一同從天降到地上。那時死去的惡人要復活,他們同撒但與他的使者一起圍攻聖城;但從上帝那裡來的烈火會燒滅他們,並潔淨全地。從此,宇宙就永遠聖潔,不再有罪和罪人了。(啟20;林前623;耶42326;啟2115;瑪41;結281819

廿七、天地  在義人所居住的新天地中,上帝會為蒙救贖之人預備永遠的家鄉,並一個完美的環境,使他們在祂面前享受永生、彼此相愛、歡喜快樂地學習萬事萬物。因為在那裡,上帝會親自與祂的子民同住。痛苦與死亡已成過去。善惡之間的大鬥爭已結束,不再有罪惡了。宇宙萬物,包括一切有生與無生之物,都在宣揚上帝就是愛。祂要統治宇宙,直到永永遠遠。阿們。(彼後313;賽35651725;太55;啟211722151115
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Seventh-day Adventists

27 Fundamental Doctrines
 

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.

1. The Holy Scriptures:    The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

2. The Trinity:    There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)

3. The Father:    God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)

4. The Son:    God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)

5. The Holy Spirit:    God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

6. Creation:    God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ``very good,'' declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

7. The Nature of Man:    Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3:1-24; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

8. The Great Controversy:    All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

9. The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ:    In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)

10. The Experience of Salvation:    In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

11. The Church:    The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)

12. The Remnant and Its Mission:    The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

13. Unity in the Body of Christ:    The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.) 

14. Baptism:    By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

15. The Lord's Supper:    The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing of baptism, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)

16. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries:    God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God's varied grace, the church is protected from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)

17. The Gift of Prophecy:    One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)

18. The Law of God
:    The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.) 

19. The Sabbath:    The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

20. Stewardship:    We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)

21. Christian Behavior:    We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)

22. Marriage and the Family:    Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

23. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:    There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)

24. The Second Coming of Christ:    The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

25. Death and Resurrection:    The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

26. The Millennium and the End of Sin:    The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)    

27. The New Earth
:    On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)  
(The end)


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