"This is eternal life: that they may know you (Father), the only true God, and the one you have sent - Jesus Christ."
To fulfill our Purpose of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we have to grow in our knowledge of him. Here, we try to understand who God is and who Jesus is by seeing what Scripture says about them.
Churches, and Christians in general, have often misunderstood and confused who God is. You can see evidence of this by viewing most churches statements of faith. Most typically, churches have very little to say about GOD, other than he is a “trinity” of the Father, Son, and Spirit who are all co-equal and co-eternal. There are usually statements about who Jesus is, as well as the role of the Holy Spirit, but these statements of belief are often woefully silent about the Father. Surprising to most Christians is that of the 1300+ times the Greek word for God is used in the New Testament, 98% of the time it is referring to the Father (the remaining 2% of occurrences refers to false gods, pagan gods, the unknown god, the stomach, Satan, the Israelites, and Jesus) (see Harris, Jesus as God, 1992). Recognition of the Father, who alone is God, is true Biblical monotheism.
How can churches fail to describe the Father in a statement of their beliefs when he fills the pages of the Old and New Testaments and is the one almost exclusively called God throughout Scripture?
We hope to clarify from Scripture the differences between God and his Messiah since Scripture clearly makes a distinction. Unfortunately, many claims about who Jesus is are also confused and not found in Scripture but formed in Emperor dominated, Catholic Church councils from the fourth and fifth centuries. The creeds from these councils, written hundreds of years after the Bible, represent an unfortunate drift from the clear, strait forward language of Scripture. These later creeds contain constructs not found in Scripture that led to historical difficulties in understanding God and his Messiah, whose relationship is relegated to being a “mystery.” The outcome of these later creeds is a “three person monotheism” derived from these Emperor dominated, Catholic councils rather than the monotheism described in the Bible. The doctrines formed in these councils were then enforced by both government and church authorities over the next 1300 years. History is very clear about this and will be acknowledged by most historians. It should be noted that the following statements are fully consistent with the most ancient of creeds, the Old Roman Symbol, later known and slightly modified as the Apostle’s Creed.
We think it is important to emphasize what Scripture emphasizes by highlighting rather than ignoring our God and Father. This is so important that it is one of our stated Values. We believe it is problematic that many Christians have confused the roles of God and his son so thoroughly that they really know neither. John 17:3, quoted above, tells us that the essence of eternal life is knowing both the Father and the Son.
Obviously, much more could be said about the subject, this is simply an introduction. You may hover over the Scripture reference to view the verse in the ESV.
2 Peter 1:2 (NET)
“May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!”
Our sole and absolute authority is the inerrant Word of God. By this we mean the most reliable manuscripts available for the 39 books of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures and the 27 books of the Greek New Testament Scriptures, which together constitute the canon of the Scriptures. The whole of the Bible, particularly, the New Testament (which depicts life under the new covenant) must be considered the only statement of faith that is authoritative. Even if we were to select only direct quotes from Scripture, this would still be a manmade statement because verses were selected on a limited, and likely biased basis. We acknowledge this, even for our own selected verses below.
One of our stated Values is: “Acceptance of one another on the basis of love despite differing interpretations of Scripture as long as there is willingness to base beliefs on Scripture alone and not tradition, creeds, human authorities, opinions, or majority view.” It is important to let the Bible speak for itself rather than reading into it our own preconceived notions.
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