GOD AS FATHER, SON & HOLY SPIRIT
Who is God?
We believe that there is one God, who has always existed and will always exist (Deuteronomy 6:4). We believe that He is creative (Genesis 1; Isaiah 40:25-26) and holy (Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 5:16, 6:1-7) and that His purposes are carried out in this world (Jeremiah 29:11; Acts 1:6-7).
We also understand that God's nature is "three-fold": Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14). This concept of God's three-fold nature, the Trinity, was understood by the early Christian Church as the best way to explain what they had experienced. They knew from their Jewish roots that there is only one God, but they also knew that Jesus acted as if He were God. In addition, the Holy Spirit, empowering the church as promised by Jesus and the Old Testament, seemed to have all of God's power as well. Thus they understood that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are parts of the one God who has always existed.
Who is Jesus Christ?
The New Testament writings state that Jesus of Nazareth was born to a Jewish family during the early days of the Roman Empire. He was killed by the Roman occupation forces and truly rose from the dead. Then He joined God the Father in heaven.
While those of different faiths consider Him a great religious teacher, the followers of Jesus understood that He was more than just a teacher.
- He forgave sins (Mark 2:1-12; John 8:1-11)
- He spoke as if He had always existed (John 8:58);
- One of His followers addressed Him as God (John 20:28).
- His death was more than a simple execution; His death makes it possible for humans to have a restored relationship with God (Colossians 1:21-23).
- In His continued life with the Father, He still cares for us humans (1 John 2:1-2).
We agree with other Christians that Jesus is God.
- He is distinct from God the Father, known to the Jewish nation at the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 1:31; Proverbs 3:12).
- He is also distinct from the Holy Spirit, who has empowered Christians since the earliest days of the Church (Acts 2:4, 33). The Holy Spirit continues the work of
- Jesus through His followers today (John 16:13-15).
- While He is God, He is also human. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary when the power of the Holy Spirit came upon her (Luke 1:26-35).
- In Him, the nature of God and the nature of humanity are united in one Person (Colossians 1:19-20).
What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?
Before Jesus died, He told His followers that He would leave them. He also promised that they would receive "another Counselor" who would be with them forever (John 7:37-39, 14:16). After His death and resurrection He told His followers that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). He then left His followers (Acts 1:9). Days later, Jesus' followers did receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 18, 32-33). The Church immediately recognized the presence of the Holy Spirit as being equivalent to God's presence (Acts 15:8-9; Ephesians 3:14-19; 1 John 3:24).