Overview of Beliefs of the Sabbath Church of God
The gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14). This gospel tells us that Jesus Christ will come again to rule the earth and bring peace (Revelation 11:15). The Sabbath Church of God supports a hopeful interpretation of prophetic scripture consistent with God’s character rather than one of worldwide destruction. We look forward to the day that an innumerable multitude will accept Christ (Revelation 7:9-10).
GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST
The Father and Jesus Christ have always existed (John 1:1-3, 14) and are both fully God. The God family consists of two beings: the Father and Jesus (1 Corinthians 8:6). God’s defining characteristic is love (1 John 4:8). The Holy Spirit is the power of the Father and of Christ (Acts 2:38), rather than the third being in a trinity.
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
God’s plan includes making us part of His family (Hebrews 2:9-11). We endeavor to grow more like God in character (Ephesians 4:22-24). Humanity has the opportunity to become children of God and to inherit the universe (Revelation 21:7). We believe in the resurrection of the dead rather than an immediate departure of the soul to heaven or hell (John 5:29). Eternal life is a gift of God (Romans 6:23), not something we inherently possess. Those who reject Christ after His coming are subject to the second death, not to everlasting torment in hell (Revelation 20:13-15).
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 are the spiritual law by which we ought to live. Christ taught that we must keep the commandments (Matthew 5:17-19). Sin is defined as transgressing that law (1 John 3:4). We must repent of breaking God’s law; this repentance means to seriously change the direction of our lives.
THE SABBATH AND FESTIVALS
The Sabbath is the God-ordained day of rest and worship. Christ observed the Sabbath (Luke 4:14-16, Mark 2:27-28), as did the apostle Paul (Acts 13:14-15, 42-44). The festivals are commanded in Leviticus 23. Christ observed the Passover, replacing the lamb with bread and wine, which represented His body and blood (Matthew 26:17-28). The apostles observed Pentecost (Feast of Firstfruits) after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:1-4).
Peter instructs followers of Christ to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptism represents our faith in the death of Christ to pay the penalty for our sins, in His burial, and in His resurrection. Baptism also represents the “death and burial” of our old self and walking in newness of life (Romans 6:1-6).
Christ established His Church (Matthew 16:18). The Church is not a specific building, nor a particular organization. The Church is composed of people who have received the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18-22, Romans 8:8-9), and the Church lives by the truth of God (John 8:30-32). The Church’s duties include preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God to the world, baptizing those who repent, and helping them grow by teaching them (Matthew 28:19-20). The Church should be known by the love that its members have for one another (John 13:35). The Church shows love for all people by helping them with their needs (Matthew 25:34-36), and we are created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).