God & Creation
The Triune Godhead and Deity of Christ
We believe God is one being in three coequal, coeternal persons. This short statement expresses the Christian definition of the Trinity, or the triunity of the Godhead.
Christianity is monotheistic. We believe there is only one God. However, there are three persons who are God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These statements are not contradictory. Being and person do not mean the same thing in this definition. Being refers to the essence of God. Person refers to function and relationship within the Godhead.
It’s relatively easy to show the Bible teaches there is only one God. The Israelites were told in the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3). The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob alone is God. The famous Shema (Dt. 6:4) says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”
The New Testament also affirms there is only one God. In 1 Corinthians 8, the apostle Paul taught, “There is no other God but one” (v. 4) and “for us there is one God” (v. 6). In 1 Timothy 2:5, the text states plainly there is one God. James 2:19 affirms that we do well to believe in one God.
However, three distinct persons are shown to be God:
→The Father. In the same verses (1 Cor. 8:4, 6; 1 Tim. 2:5), the Father is called God. The many times Jesus referred to “your heavenly Father” adds to the evidence in this regard.1
→The Son. The New Testament heavily supports the deity of Christ, the most famous passage being John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In addition, “in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). Further, Christ “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:6). In Hebrews 1, the Son (Jesus) is the Creator (v. 2), the “express image of His person” (v. 3), and He is addressed as God (v. 8).
→The Holy Spirit. In the account of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), the designation “God” is used interchangeably with the Holy Spirit (vv. 3–4). Moreover, the Holy Spirit is said to possess divine attributes, such as omnipresence (Ps. 139:7), and perform divine actions, such as resurrection (Rom. 1:4).
Scripture also contains passages that relate all three of the persons together. At Christ’s baptism, the Father speaks, and the Spirit descends as a dove (Mt. 3:16–17).
Two trinitarian formulas can be cited as well: In the Great Commission, we are to baptize “in the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (28:19). In the benediction of 2 Corinthians 13:14, the Bible significantly says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
In short, there is much biblical evidence to derive the doctrine of the triune God. It is not an abstraction from Greek philosophy but, rather, a faithful expression of the information God has given us in His Word.
1 Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 350.
— Mike Stallard, FOI director of International Ministries
We believe an eternal, self-existent, omnipotent, and holy God created the world out of absolutely nothing in six literal days; and on the seventh day He rested.
One of the biggest lies perpetrated on humanity is the Big Bang Theory. According to space.com, the simplest explanation of the theory is that the universe “started with a small singularity, then inflated over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today.” Many people accept this hypothesis over what the Bible says.
The book of Genesis declares that in the beginning, there was God. On the first day, He created light and separated it from the “darkness [which] was on the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:2). God ultimately “called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day” (v. 5).
The word for “day” is the Hebrew word yom, as in Yom Kippur, the (24-hour) Day of Atonement. This verse clearly refers to a 24-hour period that begins in the evening. For this reason, all Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening prior to the holiday. This year Yom Kippur begins on the evening of October 8 and ends on the evening of October 9.
As God’s creation process continued, God separated the land and the seas and created the moon, stars, and galaxies. He also created everything with apparent age—mature, fruit-laden trees with the seed in the fruit, for example, rather than saplings that had to grow to maturity. He also created fully mature animals, birds, and fish. But His crowning achievement appeared on the sixth day when God created Adam and later Eve—also fully mature.
Interestingly, it was God who named this planet “Earth” (1:1). He also named the first man Adam, which means “ground” or “soil” in Hebrew. Genesis 2:7 reads, “And the LORD God formed man [Hebrew, et ha’adam] of the dust of the ground [Hebrew, meen ha’adamah].” (The Hebrew actually says God formed “the man.”) Then God allowed the man to name everything else.
Jesus repudiated the theory of evolution when He told the Pharisees, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’?” (Mt. 19:4). People did not evolve from other species, such as apes. God created apes, and He created humans.
The apostle Peter said God’s word alone created the universe: “By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water” (2 Pet. 3:5). But to believe the truth requires faith: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).
God created everything in six days, then “blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Gen. 2:3). The seventh day is the Sabbath, which He gave to the Jewish people as the sign of the Mosaic covenant.
— Tom Simcox, FOI Church Ministries training coordinator
Satan and His Demons
We believe Satan (the Devil) is very much alive and active in our world and deceives the hearts and minds of those who love “darkness rather than light” (Jn. 3:19).
Murder. Deceit. Cheating. Lying. Stealing. Hate crimes. Terrorist attacks. Day after day news reports bombard us with accounts of evil. Sometimes the evil is so terrible we can hardly believe people can be so cruel to one another.
Jesus called Satan “a murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father of it” (8:44). He is as real as God and, in fact, wants to be God (Isa. 14:14). Many people deny the Devil exists, while others seem to believe he is the god of evil and YHWH is the God of good. But Satan is not a god; he is a fallen angel. He was created by God and is completely subservient to Him (Job 1:6).
THOSE INVISIBLE SPIRITS CALLED ANGELS
Read all that God’s Word teaches about angels in Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels by Renald Showers.
Before Satan’s fall, he occupied a high position in the angelic pantheon as “the anointed cherub who covers” (Ezek. 28:14). Cherubim are often associated with the holiness of God. Representations of cherubim covered the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, which resided in the Holy of Holies, first in the Tabernacle and then the Temple. Cherubim are also identified as “the likeness of four living creatures” (1:5).
Satan’s pride caused him to rebel against his Creator, induce the first man and woman to do likewise, and believe he could eventually usurp God’s throne and seize the universe from Him forever. When Satan rebelled, he took one third of the angels with him (Rev. 12:4), so he has billions of demons at his disposal.
He deceives the world by making good look evil and evil look good, transforming himself “into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Three times in the Gospel of John, Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (12:31; 14:30; 16:11) because many people unwittingly follow him, and he controls the world system in which we live.
Satan and his followers are in a constant war with God and, therefore, with everyone who loves the Lord. The Devil also despises the Jewish people because God’s redemptive plan goes through them, and their existence assures Messiah Jesus’ return to reestablish the Davidic Kingdom—which confirms Satan’s defeat. So Satan is determined to destroy God’s Chosen People to avoid his eternal judgment.
All who have placed their faith in Christ have overcome Satan and the world (1 Jn. 5:4); and Satan and his demons eventually will be cast into “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt. 25:41).
— Tom Simcox, FOI Church Ministries training coordinator