Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. The fundamental beliefs listed below constitute our church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. (Click the [+] to learn more.)
The Holy Scriptures
Scripture imparts to humanity the plan of salvation and God’s will. We consider the Word of God the benchmark of character and the assessment of knowledge. The Bible is the reflection of God’s authority, the discloser of principles. It is the historical record of God’s working through history.
(2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Ps. 119:105; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:23; Hebrews 4:12)
(Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 14:7.)
We believe that God is our eternal Father, the Creator of all. He is the supreme Ruler, righteous and compassionate.
God’s wrath is slow to rouse. He is love. These traits reflect from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a perfect Trinity.
(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.)
Jesus Christ is God, the eternal Son, personified. He is responsible for all creation. Through Jesus, God’s character, the plan for man’s salvation, and eventual judgment are revealed.
Forever divine, Jesus also became flesh for our benefit. He was born to Mary, a virgin. His conception was by the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived the human existence, experiencing pain and temptation. His life was blameless and perfect through God’s grace and eternal love. Jesus, displaying God’s power performed miracles. He is the promised Messiah.
Jesus willingly died for our sins, suffering the penalty we deserve. He was then resurrected. From His heavenly Throne, He continues to care for all of us. The day will come when He will return in His glorious form. He will restore all things and deliver His people.
(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.)
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is eternal, present with the Father and the Son during Creation. He inspired the authors of the books of the Bible. He provides Jesus’ power. The Holy Spirit attracts man, convincing them of the need for redemption. Those who repent are made into God’s image.
The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father and Son to be with us. He provides spiritual gifts to the church, so it will be a witness for Jesus. The Holy Spirit allows for harmony within the church when it comes to Scripture and 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.)
We stand firm to the belief that God created everything.
Scripture provides a true account of these events. God created the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures in six literal days. The seventh day was set aside for rest, establishing the Sabbath.This was to be God’s gift to man, honoring His Creation. Men and women were created as the reflection of God. They were given control over the newly-created earth. It was their obligation to care for it. God declared the formation of the world was “very good.”
(Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)
The Nature of Man
We believe we were created in the likeness of God. Men and women are gifted with free will, each with a unique body, mind, and spirit.
Collectively, we are dependent upon God for all things. Adam and Eve rebelled against God, rejecting dependence upon Him. They were expelled from their exalted position for their rebellion. God’s gifts were tainted by sin. Adam and Eve were subject to death. We have inherited this sinful nature and are predisposed to evil.
Through Jesus, God arranged a plan of salvation for the world. We are provided a chance for restoration and atonement. We have the opportunity to return the image of our Creator. He had declared the creation of man “very good.” We are commanded to love Him, and each other, and take care of our surroundings.
(Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; 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.)
The Great Controversy
Mankind is involved in a war between Jesus and Satan. The battle is over the nature of God, his law, and His authority over the universe.
The war began in heaven. One of God’s creations, provided with free will, desired to be adored above Him. Satan became God’s enemy, inciting a war that led away a number of angels. He introduced this spirit of dissent to the world. This dissent caused Adam and Eve to rebel against God. The true nature of God was misrepresented within mankind. Creation was in chaos, eventually devastated at the Flood.
All have been witness to this war, of which God will ultimately prevail and be exonerated. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit and angels who did not rebel, to lead and assure our 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.)
The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ
We believe that salvation is provided only through Jesus.
He lived a perfect life in harmony with God’s will. Jesus was tortured, crucified, and resurrected. He endured as our Substitute, accepting our punishment and providing our only hope of redemption. Anyone who accepts His sacrifice has the promise of life eternal. Jesus’ life and sacrifice exemplifies the perfection of God’s Commandments and character. It is also the promise that God will be victorious in the Great Controversy. Jesus will reign as Lord and Savior. Every witness on Earth and heaven will acknowledge this.
(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.)
The Experience of Salvation
We believe that God sent Jesus, in His boundless love and grace, for our salvation. He accepted the burdens of sin for us all.
Jesus was blameless. We are redeemed through God’s love and grace, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are new creations through the Spirit. We must confess our transgressions, seek forgiveness, and believe in Jesus. He alone is Lord and Savior.
Redemption comes to us through the power of the Word, God’s gift to us. Our minds will accept His Word, carrying His law within our hearts. Jesus accepts his redeemed sons and daughters, pardoning from sin and allowing for a holy life. His children are promised to be saved now and when judgment passes.
(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.)
Growing in Christ
Jesus was victorious through His sacrifice on the Cross.
The outcome of the Great Controversy is assured. Jesus’ victory is ours, prevailing over sin. Sin still desires to consume us all. Walking with Jesus is our comfort and promise of His love. The Holy Spirit lives within, giving us power over sin. Through our faith in Jesus, we are freed from the confines of a wicked existence. We are commanded to pattern our character after His.
We achieve this through continual prayer and consumption of His Word. We are called to praise His holy name and further the calling of the church. By serving others, we are witnesses to Him. We are made anew by a constant walk with Him and the existence of the Holy Spirit.
(Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)
We believe that the church is God’s family, firm in faith that Jesus is Lord and Savior. He is the Authority and the Word of the church.
Church is for worship, fellowship and understanding of God’s Word. Scripture was inspired and provided to us by God, providing the purpose and function of the church. The church celebrates the Lord’s Supper, serves man, and spreads the Gospel. It is the embodiment of Jesus. He promises to return and establish His church, pure and holy.
(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.)
The Remnant and Its Mission
We believe that the worldwide church is formed of the collective faithful in Jesus.
The remaining church in the final days will be steadfast in their faith. These called maintain God’s law and faith in Jesus. This church proclaims a pending judgment and redemption through Jesus, Who will return. As proclaimed in Revelation 14, His return will close judgment in heaven. Earth will be reformed. The church is commanded to share the Gospel with the world until His return.
(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.)
Unity in the Body of Christ
We believe the church is one form with many components. The church is comprised of all nations, people, and languages.
With Jesus, we are a new formation. We should not allow ourselves to be divided by race, class, gender, creed, or origin. We are all beloved in Jesus, united as one. Our focus should be communion with Him, and each other. We are called to do His work without prejudice or hesitation. Scripture reveals His plan, which we are to share with everyone. With the Father, United in Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit, we are 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.)
We believe that baptism is the public declaration of belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Through baptism, we die to sin and declare a new walk in life.
Jesus is Lord and Savior. We become His children, as well as representatives of His church. Baptism seals our union with Jesus. It is clemency of our sinful past, where we receive the Holy Spirit. Baptism requires submersion in water and pronouncement of belief in Jesus. It is proof of redemption from sin. We practice baptism according to Scripture.
(Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)
The Lord's Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus. Communion is a time to reflect on Jesus’ life and His wonderful promises to us all.
Jesus is with us during communion, to provide strength to His children. As we participate in communion, we celebrate Jesus’ life and His promise to return. Communion is a time of introspection, redemption, and confessing of sins. Jesus also intended the foot washing service as an expression of conversion. We are redeemed through Him, humbly willing to serve in love. All who believe in Him may participate in the communion service.
(1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)
Spiritual Gifts and Ministries
Spiritual gifts are to be used for the collective good of the church and humankind. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, He allocates to believers as He sees suitable. Spiritual gifts afford talents and organizations necessary for the church to complete its mission. Scripture references gifts of faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service. These are for the aid and support of humankind. Some are called by God, bestowed by the Holy Spirit, for special functions within the church.
These include pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching organizations. These are necessary to needed to prepare believers for service, and to shape the church in wisdom. Spiritual gifts nurture harmony, faith, and understanding God. As believers apply their gifts, the church is guarded against false teachings. The church grows in God, built up in trust and devotion.
(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.)
The Gift of Prophecy
Ellen G. White was called to be His emissary. We consider her inspired writings to be His truth. These writings are the commanding foundation of truth.
The truth gives the church reassurance, direction, training, and modification. The Bible is the benchmark against with all training and practice must be measured.
(Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)
The Law of God
Jesus’ life was an example. The Commandments outline God’s plan regarding our behavior and interaction with one another. These principles are an expression of God’s love and His promises to us all. These eternal laws apply to everyone and the benchmark by which we will be judged. By the intervention of the Holy Spirit, sin is revealed. Within us who want redemption, we cry out for a Savior.
We are saved by grace and not our actions. Our love for Him, and for others, is expressed by our observance of the Commandments. Our compliance to God’s law builds character and a sense of security. Faith exhibits Jesus’ power to transform lives and reinforces our 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.)
We believe that God rested on the seventh day. He set aside the Sabbath for humankind to honor Creation.
The Fourth Commandment of His eternal law demands the adherence to the seventh-day Sabbath. The Sabbath is for rest, worship, and service that is harmonious with Jesus’ practices. He is Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath should be a delight, a day of spiritual intimacy with God and each other. T
he Sabbath is a sign of our being redeemed through Jesus, and our faithfulness to Him. It is a preview of the heavenly kingdom God has reserved for His faithful. Sabbath is celebrated, dusk to dusk, to gladly remember God’s redeeming grace.
(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.)
We believe that we are responsible for the appropriate use of everything trusted by Him.
We are required by Him to make good use of our time, aptitudes, opportunities, and property. This also includes the assets of the earth provided by Him. We recognize God’s possession of all these things by loyal duty to Him.
We are also called to be loyal to man, by giving tithe. Tithe spreads the Gospel and furthers the mission of the church. We are to joyfully give, as a triumph over self-interest and greed. We celebrate the miracles coming to others as a result of His love.
(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.)
We believe we are selected to be a holy people. We are to reflect, know, and respond in accordance with the standards of heaven. We must do this for the Holy Spirit to restore us to the likeness of Jesus.
We should participate only in things contributing to a Christian life. Our choices of enjoyment should reflect Christian values. We should dress modestly and carefully. Adornment should come from within, from a sweet spirit. Our bodies are vessels of the Holy Spirit, which we should treat with care. This means proper exercise, rest, and nutrition. We must abstain from unclean foods listed in Scripture. Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are harmful to the body and should be avoided. Instead, we should partake in whatever aligns our bodies and minds with Jesus. He longs for us to be with him, body and soul.
(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.)
Marriage and the Family
We believe marriage is a lifelong commitment uniting a man and woman.
This was designated in Eden and asserted by Jesus. A Christian marriage is a pledge to God and the spouse. It should be between partners of a shared conviction. A shared love, integrity, admiration, and duty are the foundation of this marriage. It should also mirror the love, sacredness, intimacy, and longevity between Jesus and the church. He was clear that any person who divorces, aside from infidelity, and marries again has committed adultery. Not all marriages are idyllic. Spouses united in Jesus and each other will remain so through the working of the Holy Spirit. The church should work to nurture these relationships.
God exalts families who work toward spiritual wisdom. Parents should raise children to love and follow Jesus. Leading by example and words, they must instruct that Jesus loves us. He is a merciful authority, patient and kind. He longs for us all to be united with Him in the family of God. The family bond is one of the traits 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.)
Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
We believe that Jesus looks after us from the holy sanctuary in heaven.
The sanctuary was established by Him and not man. Jesus provides the faithful with the benefits of His surrender at the Cross. He was installed as our High Priest at the time of His ascent. Following the close of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the final phase of his cleansing ministry. This is called the investigative judgment, part of the nature of all sin. It is illustrated by the cleansing of the Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that ceremony, the sanctuary was purified by the blood of slain animals. The heavenly sanctuary was purified by Jesus’ blood. The investigative judgment shows to a heavenly jury who is “asleep in Jesus.” These will be part of the first resurrection. It will also be revealed who are living in Jesus and upholding the Commandments.
These faithful in Jesus are ready to be part of His heavenly kingdom. The investigative judgment verifies God’s righteousness and mercy. Those who believe and have remained faithful will be part of the heavenly kingdom. The completion of this judgment marks the close of probation for humankind, right 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.)
The Second Coming of Christ
At His arrival, the dead in Jesus will rise first. The blames who are living will also rise to heaven. The sinful will perish. Scripture, as well as assessing the condition of this world, shows us Jesus’ return is at hand. We are not privy to exactly when that occasion is, but must be ready.
(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.)
Death and Resurrection
We believe that God alone is eternal, and our punishment for sin is death. He has promised eternal life to those liberated from sin.
Until Jesus’ return, death is a sleep-like state for all. At Jesus’ appearing, the dead and living in Him will rise. They will be raised up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection is of the unholy, taking 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.)
The Millennium and the End of Sin
We believe that Jesus rules in heaven with his saints for one thousand years. This is the time of judgment upon Earth, between the first and second resurrections. The sinful dead are judged, and Earth is isolated, aside from Satan and his angels.
At the end of the millennium, Jesus and his faithful will descend from heaven to Earth. The sinful dead will be resurrected. Satan and his angels will battle the Holy City descended from heaven. God will consume the sinful, as well as Satan and his angels, with fire. The earth will be cleansed. The universe will be unchained from sin and sinful people.
(Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)
The New Earth
We believe in God’s promise of an eternal dwelling place for the saved. It will be an unspoiled atmosphere for eternal life, love, joy and growing in His grace.
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. God will live with His children.
Anguish and death will be no more. The Great Controversy will be over, as well as sin. All living things will know that God is love, and He reigns supreme. Amen.
(2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)