EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 1: What Believe

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GOD

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory

 

            The Trinitarian God of the Bible has existed for eternity and is the creator and sustainer of all things (Gen. 1; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:3, 11:3). God created all things without the help of any outside force or being (Job 38:4-7). God also created all things ex nihilo, or out of nothing (Heb. 11:3). God has no beginning and has no end (Rev. 1:8; 21:13). Not only is God the supreme ruler of the universe, but He is also endlessly perfect and holy (1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 30:4; 1 Pet. 1:16). God’s sovereign rule points to His limitless power (Is. 40:26). Moreover, God has limitless knowledge in that He knows all things and therefore never learns anything (John 2:25). God’s level and standard of holiness is unattainable by anyone or by any good work (Rom. 3:23). God answers to no one (Job 38:1-7), and all of creation is subject to Him (Rom. 9:20). These truths communicate God’s transcendence above all things both in heaven and on earth (Ps. 83:18, 97:9; Is. 40:12-28).

However, God is not separate from His creation, but is active in sustaining it moment by moment (Ps. 2:1-4; Matt. 5:45; Heb. 1:3). In other words, God works all things, whether seemingly insignificant or historically pivotal, to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11).

The attributes of God are not what “God is like,” but rather who God is. Moreover, God’s attributes are not above or separate from Him in any fashion. For example, God is love (1 John 4:8), but that does not imply that God is in any way subservient to love. Rather, love is in God’s nature along with various other attributes such as wrath (Rev. 6:16), mercy (Exod. 34:6), and faithfulness (Deut. 32:4).

God has existed eternally in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Matt. 28:19; Mark 3:16-17). The Trinity is not three separate parts of one God, but rather three divine persons with one essence. Furthermore, no person of the Trinity is to be held in higher regard than another. Each Person of the Trinity is equally important, but is separate in role and function. In other words, the Father planned redemption (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9), the Son secured redemption (John 19:30; 2 Cor. 5:18; Col. 1:20), and the Holy Spirit applies redemption (Rom. 8:16; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14).

By His great grace, God has long planned to redeem a people for His own possession (Ex. 19:5-6; Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Pet. 2:9). God is most passionate for His own glory and renown (Ex. 9:14; Deut. 6:1-2; Josh. 4:23-24; 2 Kgs. 19:19; Ps. 83:18; Rom. 11:36), and redeeming people from the curse of sin is how He saw fit to glorify Himself best (Ps. 67:1-3; Rom. 1-11; Tit. 2:11-14). This plan of redemption was not a reactionary response to the fall of man into sin (Gen. 3:1-19), but rather God’s original plan (Rom. 9:22-24). Finally, the climactic fulfillment of redemption is God making all things, whether in heaven or on earth, new (Rev. 21:5).

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