Teachings of the Holy Scriptures - The Bible

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The Scriptures, both Hebrew and Greek, are the written word of God, transmitted through divine inspiration by holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Through this Word, God communicated to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They represent the model for character, the test of experience, the authoritative revelation of doctrines, and the reliable account of God's acts in history (cf. 2 Pet 1:20,21; 2 Tim 3:16,17; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5,6; Isa 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12).

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. God is infinite and transcends human understanding, yet He makes Himself known through His revelation. He is forever worthy of worship and service by all of creation (cf. Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 4:4-6; 1 Pet 1:2; 1 Tim 1:17; Rev 14:7).

God, the Eternal Father, is the Creator, the Source, the Sustainer, and the Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and compassionate, 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 (cf. Gen 1:1; Rev 4:11; 1 Cor 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim 1:17; Exod 34:6,7; John 14:9).

God, the Eternal Son, incarnated in Jesus Christ. Through Him, all things were created, the character of God was revealed, the salvation of humanity was accomplished, and the world will be judged. Forever truly God, He also became truly man: Jesus Christ. Adventist doctrine affirms that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being but was a perfect example of God’s righteousness and love. Through His miracles, He manifested the power of God and was declared the promised Messiah sent by God. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place. Risen from the dead, He ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things (cf. 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 participated with the Father and the Son in creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the authors of the Scriptures. He manifested His power in the life of Christ. He awakens and convinces human beings, regenerates, and transforms into the image of God those who respond to His invitation. Sent by the Father and the Son to be with His children forever, He grants spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and, in harmony with the Scriptures, guides it into all truth (cf. Gen 1:1,2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Pet 1:21; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:11,12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18,26; 15:26,27; 16:7-13).

Scripture affirms that God is the Creator of all things and has revealed in the Scriptures the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days, the Lord made the heavens and the Earth and all living things that are in it, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus, He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His creative work. The first man and the first woman were formed in the image of God, as the crowning work of creation; they were given dominion over the world and the responsibility to care for it. When the world was completed, it was "very good" and declared the glory of God (cf. Gen 1:2; Exod 20:8-11; Ps 19:1-6; 33:6,9; 104; Heb 11:3).

Man and Woman were created in the image of God, each with their own individuality, with the power and freedom to think and act. Although created as free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life, breath, and all else. When the first humans disobeyed the Lord, they denied their dependence on the Creator and fell from their high position in Him. The image of God in them was marred, and they became subject to death. Their descendants inherited this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies toward evil. However, God, in Christ, reconciled the world to Himself and, through His Spirit, restores in repentant humans the image of their Creator. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him, love one another, and care for their environment (cf. 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).

Adventist theology asserts that all humanity is involved in a great conflict between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict began in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, exalted himself and became Satan, the adversary of God, leading a portion of the angels into rebellion. He introduced a spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. Humanity's sin resulted in the distortion of God's image in mankind, disorder in the created world, and its devastation during the time of the universal flood. Observed by all creation, this world has become the arena of the universal conflict, at the end of which God's justice will be fully vindicated. To assist His people in this conflict, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and faithful angels to guide, protect, and sustain them on the path to salvation (cf. Rev 12:4-9; Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:12-18; Gen 3; Rom 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen 6-8; 2 Pet 3:6; 1 Cor 4:9; Heb 1:14).

Scripture affirms that through Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His sufferings, His death, and His resurrection, God has provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life and the entire creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the justice of God's law and the mercy of His character: it condemns our sin but also provides for our forgiveness. Christ's death is substitutionary and atoning, reconciling and transforming. Christ's resurrection proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil and assures those who accept the atonement of their final victory over sin and death. It declares that Jesus Christ is Lord, before whom "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth" (cf. John 3:16; Isa 53; 1 Pet 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).

In His infinite love and great mercy, God made Christ, who did not sin, to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit, we become aware of our limitations, recognize our guilt, repent of our mistakes, and exercise our faith in Jesus, accepting Him as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith that brings salvation comes from the divine power of the Word and is a gift of God's grace. Through Christ, we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and freed from the dominion 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 gives us the strength to live a holy life. By remaining faithful to Him, we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the day of judgment (cf. 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 Pet 2:21,22; Rom 10:7; 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 Pet 1:23; Rom 12:2; Heb 8:7-12; Ezek 36:25-27; 2 Pet 1:3,4; Rom 8:1-4; 5:6-10).

Through His death on the cross, Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. During His earthly ministry, He subdued demonic spirits, destroyed their power, and ensured their final fate. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the forces of evil that still seek to dominate us when we walk with Him in peace and joy, assured of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually consecrated to Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are freed from the burden of past actions. We no longer live in darkness, in fear of the powers of evil, or in the ignorance and folly of our past lives. Free once again in Jesus, we are called to grow to the stature of His character by daily communing with Him in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on divine providence, singing His praises, gathering together to worship Him, and participating in the mission of the Church. When we commit ourselves to loving service toward those around us and to witnessing the salvation in Jesus, His constant presence by our side sanctifies every moment and every activity (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 Pet 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).

The Church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as the only and sufficient Lord and Savior. Like the people of God in the Old Testament, Adventists commit to separating from the world and coming together for worship, for fellowship, for the study of God's word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all humanity, and for the worldwide 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 the family of God: adopted by Him as children, its members live according to 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 to sanctify and purify. At His return in glory, He will present it as a glorious church, a faithful church of all ages, purchased with His own blood, without spot or wrinkle, but holy and blameless (cf. 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).

The doctrine asserts that the universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, during a period of total apostasy, a remnant will be called to observe God's commandments and preserve the faith of Jesus. This remnant will announce that the hour of judgment has come, proclaim salvation through Christ, and declare the nearness of His return. 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 personally engage in this worldwide testimony (cf. Rev 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor 5:10; Jude 3,14; 1 Pet 1:16-19; 2 Pet 3:10-14; Rev 21:1-14).

Scripture affirms that the church is a body with many members called from every nation, tribe, language, and people. In Christ, humanity becomes a new creation: distinctions of race, culture, education, nationality, social class differences, between rich and poor, or between male and female, should not be causes for division. All are equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has united humanity to Himself and to one another. We are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, Adventists share the same faith and hope, bearing witness to all. This unity finds its source in the unity of the triune God who has adopted believers as His children (cf. 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).

Through baptism, Adventists affirm their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, testifying to our death to sin and our decision to begin a new life. In this way, we recognize Christ as Lord and Savior, become His people, and are accepted as members of His church. Baptism is the symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and the fact that we have received the Holy Spirit. It is performed by immersion in water and is contingent upon a declaration of faith in Jesus and the manifestation of genuine repentance from sin. It follows the study of the Holy Scriptures and the acceptance of their teachings (cf. Rom 6:1-6; Col 2:12-13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt 28:19-20).

The Lord's Supper is the participation in the symbols 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 with and strengthen His people. By participating, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He returns. Preparation for the Lord's Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master instructed us to celebrate the foot-washing service to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another with His same humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians (1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-30; Matt 26:17-30; Rev 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17).

Adventist Christians believe that God grants spiritual gifts to all members of the Church, regardless of the era in which they live. Each person should use these gifts for the common good of the Church and humanity. Bestowed by the Holy Spirit, who distributes them "to each one individually as He wills," these gifts provide the abilities and callings necessary for the Church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to Scripture, these gifts include faith, healing, prophecy, preaching, teaching, administration, understanding, reconciliation, selfless service, and kindness to help and encourage people. Some members are called by God and receive the gifts of the Spirit to perform roles recognized by the Church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries. These roles are particularly important for preparing members for service, helping the Church grow towards spiritual maturity, and promoting the unity of faith and the knowledge of God. When members use these spiritual gifts "as good stewards of the manifold grace of God," the Church is protected from the destructive influences of false doctrines, grows through God's intervention, and is strengthened in faith and love (cf. Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:9-11,27,28; Eph 4:8,11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-3; 1 Pet 4:10,11).

The gift of prophecy is one of the distinguishing marks 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 that provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the Church. They make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested (cf. Joel 2:28,29; Acts 2:14-21; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 12:17; 19:10).

The great law of God's Ten Commandments was expressed in His covenant with Israel and exemplified in the life of Christ. It expresses God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and is binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard of God's judgment. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, they point out sin and awaken a need for a Savior. Salvation is entirely by grace and not by works, but its fruit is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and produces a sense of well-being. It is evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow human beings. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives and thereby strengthens Christian witness (cf. Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 40:7-8; Matthew 22:36-40; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Matthew 5:17-20; Hebrews 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Romans 8:3-4; Psalm 19:7-14).

The gracious 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 a 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 with 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 (cf. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isaiah 56:5-6; 58:13-14; Matthew 12:1-12; Exodus 31:13-17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Hebrews 4:1-11; Leviticus 23:32; Mark 1:32).

We are God’s stewards, entrusted with managing 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 human beings, returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of the Gospel and the support and growth of His church. Christian stewardship is a privilege given to us by God to nurture love and overcome selfishness and greed. A steward rejoices when others are blessed as a result of their faithfulness (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chronicles 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 23:23; Romans 15:26-27; 1 Corinthians 9:9-14; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; 9:7).

We are called to be a people who are devoted to God, who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells in us and transforms us to be like Him. We commit to nurturing only those things that produce purity, health, and joy in us. This means that our amusements and entertainments should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty.

Recognizing that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we diligently care for it. Along with appropriate exercise and rest, we adopt the healthiest diet possible and abstain from unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Because alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and psychotropic substances harm our bodies, we abstain from these. Instead, we engage in everything that brings our thoughts and bodies into conformity with the will of Christ, who desires our health, joy, and goodness (cf. Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:6; Ephesians 5:1-21; Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 10:31; Leviticus 11:1-47; 3 John 2).

Marriage was instituted by God in the Garden of Eden and affirmed by Jesus as a loving and lifelong union between a man and a woman. For the Christian, a marital commitment is with God and the spouse, and should be undertaken only between partners who share the same faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the foundations of this relationship, reflecting the love, sanctity, closeness, and perpetuity of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that whoever divorces their spouse, except for adultery, and remarries, commits adultery.

Even though some family relationships may not reach the ideal, a man and a woman who fully dedicate themselves to each other in Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the church community, can achieve a loving unity. God blesses the family and desires that its members help each other towards complete maturity. Parents must teach their children to love and obey the Lord. Through their example and words, they must teach that Christ is a loving, ever-gentle guide who desires them to become members of His body, the family of God, which embraces both singles and married couples (cf. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:21-33; Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:5-9; Proverbs 22:6; Malachi 4:5-6).

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that 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 final phase of His atoning ministry. This is a work of investigative judgment that is part of the final 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 shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent (cf. Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; Daniel 7:9-27; 8:13-14; 9:24-27; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6; Leviticus 16; Revelation 14:6-7; 20:12; 22:12).

The return of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the great climax of the gospel. The coming of the Savior will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living, they will be glorified and taken to heaven, while the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of many lines of prophecy, along with the current condition of the world, indicates that the coming of Christ is near. The time of that event has not been revealed, and therefore we are exhorted to be ready at all times.
(cf. Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:14; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 26:43-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2:8; Revelation 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).

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. (cf. Romans 6:23; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; Psalm 146:3-4; John 11:11-14; Colossians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:1-10).

Per gli avventistiThe millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints between the first and second resurrections. During this period, the wicked will be judged, and the earth will be in a state of total desolation, devoid of living human beings and inhabited only by Satan and his angels. At the end of the millennium, Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. Then the wicked will be resurrected, and together with Satan and his angels, they will surround the Holy City, but fire sent from God will consume them and purify the earth. In this way, the universe will be definitively freed from sin and sinners (cf. Revelation 20; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Revelation 21:1-5; Malachi 4:1; Ezekiel 28:18-19).

Scripture teaches that on the new earth, where the righteous will live, God will ensure an eternal dwelling for the redeemed and a perfect environment for eternal life, love, joy, and knowledge in His presence. For God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will be no more. The great controversy is ended, and sin has been eliminated. All things, both animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love, and He will reign forever (cf. 2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 35; 65:17-25; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15).