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What Seventh- Day Adventists Believe
AUTHOR: Computers for Christ
PUBLISHED ON: April 29, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

                WHAT SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS BELIEVE

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.  (II Pet. 1:20,21; II Tim. 3:16,17; Ps. 119:105; Prov.
30:5,6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; I 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; I Pet. 1:2; I 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;
I Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; I John 4:8; I 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; II Cor. 5:17-19;
John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; I 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 and 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; II Pet.
1:21; II 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 heavens 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 the
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; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; II Cor.
5:19,20; Ps. 51:10; I 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; II
Pet. 3:6; I 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; I Pet.
2:21,22; I Cor. 15:3,4,20-22; II Cor.5:14,15,19-21; Rom.
1:4;3:25;4:25;8:3,4; I 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.  (II Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4;4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7;
John 16:8; Gal 3:13,14; I Pet. 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; I Pet. 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27;
II Pet. 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 Savior.  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 world wide 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; II Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; I Pet.1:16-19; II
Pet. 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; I Cor. 12:12-14; Matt.
28:19,20; Ps. 133:1; II 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
Savior, 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; 2:16; 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
Savior.  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, 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.  (I Cor. 10:16,17; 11:23-30;  Matt. 26:117-30; Rev. 3:20;
l 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; I Cor. 12:9-11,27,28; Eph. 4:8,11-16;
Acts 6:1-7; I Tim 2:1-3; I Pet.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 Savior.  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 16:7-10; Eph. 2:8-
10; I 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 evening to evening,
sunset to 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; I Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; I
Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; Rom 15:26,27.)

21.  Christian Behavior

    We are called to be 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; I John
2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; II Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:l;  I Pet. 3:1-4; I
Cor. 6:19,20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; III 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; II
Cor.6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31,32; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18; I
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 shell 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 Savior’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. 26:43,44; I
Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:51-54; II Thess. l:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20;
19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; II Tim 3:1-5; I 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; I Tim. 6:15,16; Eccl. 9:5,6; Ps. 146:3,4; John
11:11-14; Col. 3:4; I Cor 15:51-54; I 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; I 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.  (II Pet. 3:13; Isa. 35;
65:17-25; Matt. 5:5 Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5,11-15.)

Sysops Note:  The text above was uploaded by an SDA minister, and is a
direct transcription of SDA literature.  As with all the informational
files, it’s inclusion here does not indicate agreement or endorsement
by the sysop of this system, or by Computers for Christ.

Computers for Christ – Chicago

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