Doctrines of the Church | Predestination | God

Doctrines of the Church

Excerpt from the book: Paradise, the Holy City, and the Glory of the Throne by Rev. Elwood Scott.

1. There is but one living and true God. His Attributes 2. The attributes of God are the qualities, elements and perfections which belong to Him. They belong to Him and are parts of His divine nature — not that His whole being consists of a combination of the same, but because they are the forms and expressions of His being which He has revealed to man. 3. These attributes are natural and moral. The natural attributes reveal His existence as an infinite and rational spirit; that is self-existence, freedom, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, wisdom. The moral attributes are holiness, righteousness, justice, goodness, love, grace, mercy and truth. 4. As known to men on earth God is an invisible spirit, whom no man hath seen nor can see. He is eternal and self- existent. He creates beings with immortality, but God alone possesses eternity. He is infinite, filling all space in the entire universe, embracing all worlds. He is omnipotent, i.e., infinite in power; shown by all His creations from the infinitely great to the infinitely small. All His acts are done by the exercise of His volition, and are seen by man in the universality, variety and multitude of His works. God’s omnipotence is limited only by His moral perfections. God cannot lie nor do any bad act, although He has the power. 5. God is omnipresent. The creator, upholder, and governor of all things. He is also omniscient, all things being open and naked before His eyes. God’s wisdom is infinite, embracing all knowledge and is independent of all His creatures. We can tell Him nothing which He does not know, but His intelligent, infinite intuition comprehends all things past, present or future. This intelligence is perfect and absolute. Man analyzes things to find out their nature. God knows the nature without the analysis. 6. The foreknowledge of God is also absolute. How the foreknowledge of God is to be reconciled with man’s free agency and moral accountability is indeed to men in the world a dark problem, but in the Scriptures both are clearly taught, and faith accepts what reason cannot reconcile. Some of the churches on earth have denied man’s moral freedom. Others maintain that God in the exercise of

His omniscience, like His omnipotence, abstains from knowing what His creatures will do under certain given circumstances, But the foreknowledge of God itself, unrevealed to men, does not impose nor even hint to me any course of conduct whatever; it in no degree affects His liberty of action. Man neither sins nor follows holiness, as the result of God’s foreknowledge; so notwithstanding God’s foreknowledge, He has made man in His image, a free moral being. 7. God is infinitely wise, always knows what is best, always adopts means which will best accomplish His purposes. That is wisdom; for wisdom is the art of turning to best account our knowledge. Both in creation and providence God’s wisdom is seen. His wisdom and His works everywhere confirm each other as being of God. No higher wisdom has ever been seen or known than God’s wisdom in the plan of human redemption. It solves the problem of God’s justice in justifying the believer in Jesus Christ. 8. The perfect goodness of God is seen in the benevolence which embraces all mankind and provides for their welfare. His merciful dealings with men declare His goodness; it is also seen in His unmerited favor, drawing man to salvation and in the use of so many means to this end, also in the abundant provision which He has made for man’s present and eternal happiness. Moral Evil 9. How sin can exist in the world with all its terrible consequences in connection with God’s righteous government, is an awful and difficult problem, the complete solution of which is not possible to man in his earthly life. But sin does exist, and God permits it for reasons of His own, not fully revealed to men. In heaven it could not be so. No taint of sin can ever enter the gates of this city. If an angel should again sin God would instantly cast him down to hell. 10. Righteousness and justice are divine perfections. It is holiness exhibited in government. Truth or faithfulness of God is much the same as His righteousness. All He says and does is true. His veracity is an element of His character. God cannot lie. As God is eternal His truth remains the same. Whatever is out of harmony with His revealed truth, the same is a lie. To the question, "What is truth?" this answer which we repeat in heaven is true: "To know God as He has revealed Himself to man is truth of the highest order." Our Lord declared: "I am the way, the truth and the life." All things taught or believed that are out of harmony with His clear revelations are both false and misleading.

The Triune God 11. The eternal God has revealed Himself to men as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Son of God is and always was divine. He is the express image of the Father. There have been many errors and heresies in the church in past ages. But we worship one Triune God neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substances of the same. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is one God. The Divinity of Jesus Christ 12. He was the Word of God from eternity. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. While on earth we always held Him to be divine and worshipped Him as God; and in heaven He is confessed by all, both saints and angels, to be God and equal to the Father. All the hosts of heaven worship Him, He was God manifest in the flesh. The Holy Spirit 13. The Holy Ghost is one with the Father and with the Son. Equal in eternity, power and glory. In creation He moved upon the face of the waters and developed form and beauty out of disorder and confusion. He proceeded from the Father and from the Son, and took up His abode with His church on earth. He has ever been with them since His coming on Pentecost. He is the Comforter, Guide and Sanctifier of His people. Man’s Original State and Fall 14. God made man upright. He was both material and spiritual and possessed of a divine life, and made in the image of God. He could hold communion with God, with all that is divine, as well as with the material universe. He was made but a little lower than the angels, and was crowned with glory and honor and had dominion over the works of God’s hands in the earth. He was a companion of his Father and Creator, capable of admiring, adoring and enjoying God. While he was material and possessed an animal nature, as he came from the hands of God, yet he was an intellectual, moral, pure and holy being. He was placed under law with life and death before him. Adam rebelled; sin was born on earth. The glory of the Lord departed from him. Man fell, and felt his guilt and was alienated from God. The stream of humanity was contaminated at its source. The first pair became sinful. Their descendants of necessity were in their image fallen and depraved. So by one man sin entered into the world and

death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Our nature sinned in Adam and the stream became polluted at the fountain head. This depravity became universal for all the faculties and powers of the soul and body were brought under the power of evil. The Atonement 15. We universally believe that the death of Christ was vicarious and propitiatory and that by it divine justice is satisfied, and God can be just and the justifier of all who believe in Christ Jesus, and that pardon and salvation is freely offered to all men, upon repentance and faith. Election and Foreordination 16. We believe God did foreordain and devise a plan from the foundation of the world by which He would save man, and further, He did foreordain from the beginning, all men throughout the ages who would accept and be willing to conform to this plan, should be saved; so that everyone in harmony with His power and liberty of choice who shall choose eternal life though God’s plan was foreordained to eternal salvation. Repentance 17. True repentance is a condition of soul before God wrought by the operations of the Spirit of God upon the heart and soul of man whereby he is made to see and feel the sinfulness of his sins, and also to forsake them utterly and with full purpose of heart to yield obedience to God in the future. Justification 18. Justification can only follow true repentance and is an act of God’s free grace wherein He pardoneth the sins of man, and accepteth him as righteous in His sight, only for the sake of Christ. Faith 19. True unfeigned faith in God believes all that God has said, commanded, promised or threatened. It is dependent upon testimony, and is valuable to us as the truth itself. We can believe in men. We are responsible for our faith, for one may believe a lie as he does the truth. The truth only can make him free. True saving faith leads the soul to trust itself to the all- atoning merits of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Adoption 20. Adoption is an act of God whereby the believing sinner is received into the family of God, with all the rights and privileges of His children in which he becomes an heir of God with a right and title to eternal life. The New Birth 21. The new birth of which our Lord spoke is that mighty change wrought of God in the soul of man when He imparts to him eternal life and renews him in the image of God. This change is the work of the Holy Spirit wrought in man, convincing him of sin, and leading him to repentance and faith whereby he is born from above with eternal life as a gift from God.

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