What do Seventh-Day Adventists believe?
What do Seventh-Day Adventists believe?
The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church maintains 28 fundamental beliefs which are routed in the holy scriptures. The first is the belief that the Holy scriptures, which include both the old and the new testament is the inspired word of God. In these books, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The authors of scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the various books. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative and infallible revelation of the will of God and is the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.)
The church believes in the Trinity. The church believes that there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal persons, and he is worthy of worship, praise and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.). God the father is the creator, sustainer and supreme authority over all creation. God the son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. In him, the righteous character of God is revealed. He is the one who came to die so that man would have the promise of eternal life. God the Holy Spirit is the inspired writer of scripture. He was present and active in the creation of this world and he bears witness of the son of God and in harmony with the scriptures, leads humanity to all truth. (Gen 1:1, John 1:1, John 15:26&27, John 16:13).
Also, the church believes that God created the universe in six literal days and rested on the seventh day (Gen1-2). During this creation, God created man and woman in his image and gave them the power and freedom to think and reason and to do. However, although created as free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. (Gen1:26-28) SDA’s also believe that humanity is 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 the angel Lucifer rebelled and caused a third of the angels to rebel with him. He then caused Adam and Eve, the first man and woman to fall to sin. This issue of sin has distorted the image of God and caused the world to become the arena of universal conflict, where the character of God will be ultimately vindicated. God did not leave his people to fight the battle alone however, for he sent the Holy Spirit and the angels to guide and protect his people and guide them on the way of salvation. (Gen. 3; 6-8; Job 1:6-12; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-18; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:4; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 3:6; Rev. 12:4-9.)
The Church believes in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church believes that the only means of atonement for humanity comes through Jesus. This atonement condemns human sins and provides for human forgiveness from those sins. (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 53; John 3:16; 14:30; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 2:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.) It is this sacrifice made by Jesus Christ that gives the church the belief that when an individual is led by the Holy Spirit, he or she is senses their need, acknowledges their sinfulness and repent of their transgressions and exercise faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Substitute and Example. Through Christ, the individual is justified and adopted as sons and daughters of God, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit and have the assurance of salvation now and at the judgement. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 45:22; 53; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 33:11; 36:25-27; Hab. 2:4; Mark 9:23, 24; John 3:3-8, 16; 16:8; Rom. 3:21-26; 8:1-4, 14-17; 5:6-10; 10:17; 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Gal. 1:4; 3:13, 14, 26; 4:4-7; Eph. 2:4-10; Col. 1:13, 14; Titus 3:3-7; Heb. 8:7-12; 1 Peter 1:23; 2:21, 22; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rev. 13:8).
The church believes that “the Church” is the body of Christ who were called out from the world and join together in worship, fellowship and the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. Therefore, there must be unity in the church and there should be no divisions because of race, culture, nationality or social stature. With this in mind, the church believes that in the last days, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. 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. (Eph. 1:22-23, Gal:3-28, Rev 12;17 Rev:14:6-12, Dan. 7:9-14).
The church believes in the concept of Baptism by emersion. The church believes that baptism is a symbol of an individual’s union with Christ, forgiveness of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit. It is contingent upon an individual’s profession of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 2:38; 16:30-33; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-6; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12, 13). The Lord’s supper is another belief of the SDA church. The church embraces the concept of Jesus would have had with his disciples on the night in which he was betrayed. This service includes the foot-washing ceremony which signifies renewed cleansing and the partaking of emblems which signify the blood and body of Jesus. (Matt. 26:17-30; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Rev. 3:20).
Another belief of the church is that God bestows spiritual gifts on every member, regardless of age, to be employed in loving ministry and for the common good of humanity. (Acts 6:1-7; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:7-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.) The church also believes in the gift of prophesy. The Scriptures testify that one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and we believe it was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. Her writings speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Num. 12:6; 2 Chron. 20:20; Amos 3:7; Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10; 22:8, 9.)
The church holds fully to the laws of God and believe that these laws are embodied in the ten commandments and are exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. (Exod. 20:1-17; Deut. 28:114; Ps. 19:7-14; 40:7, 8; Matt. 5:17-20; 22:36-40; John 14:15; 15:7-10; Rom. 8:3, 4; Eph. 2:8-10; Heb. 8:8-10; 1 John 2:3; 5:3; Rev. 12:17; 14:12.) Having said that, the church believes in the observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath, which is the fourth commandment. The church believes that the sabbath is a sign of God’s covenant with man and that all should observe this holy time set aside by the creator for communion with him.(Gen. 2:1-3; Exod. 20:8-11; 31:13-17; Lev. 23:32; Deut. 5:12-15; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Ezek. 20:12, 20; Matt. 12:1-12; Mark 1:32; Luke 4:16; Heb. 4:1-11).
Stewardship is another belief of the church, which expounds on the fact that God is ultimately the owner of everything, including humans and we should take care of ourselves and everything he has given to us. This teaching also includes the system of tithing and the giving of offerings for the continuation of the work of spreading the gospel. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23; Rom. 15:26, 27; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; 9:7). The church also believes that members should display Christian behavior and should engage in activities that are pure and health. As such, members are to abstain from things that are harmful to the body such as tobacco and alchohol and other drugs. (Gen. 7:2; Exod. 20:15; Lev. 11:1-47; Ps. 106:3; Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 10:5; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 2:4; 4:8; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10; Titus 2:11, 12; 1 Pet. 3:1-4; 1 Jn. 2:6; 3 Jn 2.)
The church believes in the holy union of Marriage between a Man and a Woman as was demonstrated in the garden of Eden. The church believes God blesses the family and believes that the parents should bring up the children to love and obey God. (Gen. 2:18-25; Exod. 20:12; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6; Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:3-9, 12; Mark 10:11, 12; John 2:1-11; 1 Cor. 7:7, 10, 11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4. The church also believes that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that Jesus Christ is in the sanctuary interceding on the behalf of humanity. The church believes that upon his ascension he was inaugurated as the great high priest and began his priestly ministry. In 1844, the Christ began his second and final phase of his priestly ministry which is the investigative judgement. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Lev. 16; Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Heb. 1:3; 2:16, 17; 4:14-16; 8:1-5; 9:11-28; 10:1922; Rev. 8:3-5; 11:19; 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:11, 12.)
The final four beliefs of the church are the second coming of Jesus, Death and resurrection, the millennium and end of sin, and the new earth. The church believes that Jesus will return and every eye shall see him. The wages of sin is death, but God will grant eternal life to his redeemed ones. The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. 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. (Rev 1:7, Rom 6:23, Rev 20, Rev 21:1-7, Rev 22: 1-5).