God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
We believe in one God, the Father, eternally existing, who is a Spirit, a personal Being of supreme intelligence, knowledge, love, justice, power and authority. He, through Jesus Christ, is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He is the Source of life and the One for whom human life exists. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who is the Word and who has eternally existed. We believe that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the divine Son of the living God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born in human flesh of the virgin Mary. We believe that it is by Him that God created all things, and that without Him was not anything made that was made. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of God and of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and the Spirit of life eternal (2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:16).
We believe that God is the Sovereign of the universe, existing supremely above all else. God is spirit (John 4:24), existing in a different realm from that of humans, who are flesh. Our understanding and perception of God, therefore, are based on God's revelation to us through His written Word, the Bible.
The Bible reveals God as the "Father" and Jesus Christ as His "Son." The distinction between the two is implicit from the very beginning of God's revelation (Genesis 1:1), where the Hebrew word Elohim is used (Elohim is the plural form of the Hebrew word for God, Eloah). There has been communication between these two from the beginning, as seen in the example of Genesis 1:26, where the pronouns us and our refer to Elohim.
The Old Testament focuses on the God of Israel, who identifies Himself as "I AM" and "the LORD God . . . of Abraham, . . . of Isaac, and . . . of Jacob" (Exodus 3:14-15), (the word LORD being derived from the Hebrew YHWH). In John 8:58, Christ refers to Himself as "I am." This is the same God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and accompanied them in the wilderness and who was later known in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4). Both the Old Testament and New Testament contain references to more than one personage in the Godhead (Psalm 110:1, for example, which is quoted in Acts 2:29-36). The New Testament identifies Them as God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Son is also called God (Hebrews 1:8-9).
Jesus Christ is called the "Word," who "was with God" in the beginning and is also identified as "God" (John 1:1-2). He created all things (verses 3, 10), and later became flesh and dwelled with humans (John 1:14). He is also called "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). Humans have the wonderful potential and opportunity to enter the family of God (Romans 8:14, 19; John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2).
The relationship between the Word and the Father is more clearly defined in the New Testament, when "the Word was made flesh" (John 1:14, King James Version; Philippians 2:5-11), revealed the Father to His disciples (Matthew 11:25-27), was sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins and has now once again been exalted by the Father (John 17:5).
The New Testament emphasizes the unity between the "Father" and "Son," yet makes the distinction between the two clear in numerous scriptures (e.g., John 20:17; Romans 15:6). We read in Ephesians that God "created all things through Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:1-3). The relationship between the Father and the Son demonstrates God's perfect and eternal way of life. The Father has always loved the Son, and the Son has always loved the Father (John 17:4, 20-26). The harmony between the Father and the Son is a singleness of mind and purpose, which Jesus Christ asked the Father to bring about among His disciples, Himself, and the Father (verses 20-23).
"God," as used in the Bible, can be a reference to either the Father (e.g., Acts 13:33; Galatians 4:6), Jesus Christ the Son (e.g., Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 14) or both (e.g., Romans 8:9), depending on the context of the scriptures. The power and mind that proceed from God are called the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Luke 1:35; Acts 1:8; 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit of God is not identified as a third person in a trinity, but is consistently described as the power of God. The Holy Spirit is given to mankind upon repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38) to serve as an earnest payment on eternal life (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14 [both KJV]).
God wants us to know Him so we can have confidence in Him and love Him. He has disclosed much more about Himself through the names that He revealed to those with whom He worked through the ages. These names reveal that God possesses supreme intelligence, power, glory and wisdom; that He embodies all righteousness, perfection and truth; that He possesses heaven and earth; that He is immortal and worthy of all praise. God is our provider, healer, shield, defense, counselor, teacher, lawgiver, judge, strength and salvation. He is faithful, merciful, generous, patient, kind, just and compassionate. God hears our prayers, makes a covenant with us, is a refuge in trouble, gives us knowledge and desires to give us immortality that we might share eternal life with Him.
|©1997-2007 United Church of God -
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
All correspondence and questions should be sent to email@example.com. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to firstname.lastname@example.org