Fundamental Beliefs


Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental

beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the

church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these

statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the

Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express

the teachings of God's Holy Word.


1. The Holy Scriptures:

The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine

inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy

Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The

Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the

test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's

acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John

17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)


2. The Trinity:

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is

immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond

human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship,

adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6;

1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)


3. The Father:

God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is

just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and

faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also

revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim.

1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)


4. The Son:

God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created,

the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is

judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of

the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human

being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He

manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died

voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended

to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final

deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John

10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor.

15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; John 14:1-3.)


5. The Holy Spirit:

God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and

redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and

convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of

God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts

to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads

it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11,

12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)


6. Creation:

God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative

activity. In six days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the

earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a

perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in

the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and

charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ``very good,''

declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)


7. The Nature of Man:

Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to

think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and

spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed

God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The

image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share

this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to

evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent

mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and

one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28;

Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)


8. The Great Controversy:

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the

character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in

heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became

Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit

of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the

distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its

eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this

world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be

vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal

angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14;

Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb.



9. The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ:

In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God

provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this

atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and

holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and

the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our

forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming.

The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who

accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of

Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1

Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1

John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)


10. The Experience of Salvation:

In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him

we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need,

acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord

and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the

divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified,

adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the

Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in

our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers

of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor.

5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22;

Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom.

8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter

1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)


11. Growing in Christ:

By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the

demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their

ultimate doom. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as

we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us

and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free

from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers,

ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we

are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer,

feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering

together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in

loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence

with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience.

(Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1

Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28;

John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)


12. The Church:

The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In

continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and

we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the

Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.

The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the

Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as

children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a

community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ

died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to

Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having

spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11;

Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)


13. The Remnant and Its Mission:

The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time

of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God

and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims

salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is

symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in

heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to

have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude

3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)


14. Unity in the Body of Christ:

The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and

people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality,

and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive

among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with

Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation.

Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and

reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who

has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2

Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)


15. Baptism:

By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our

death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as

Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is

a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy

Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and

evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of

their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)


16. The Lord's Supper:

The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an

expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is

present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's

death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance,

and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing,

to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in

love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30;

Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)


17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries:

God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is

to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the

agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all

abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According

to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation,

teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for

the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the

Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching

ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to

spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members

employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God's varied grace, the church is protected

from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is

built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1

Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)


18. The Gift of Prophecy:

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant

church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her

writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort,

guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by

which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3;

Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)


19. The Law of God:

The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in

the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and

relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of

God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgment. Through the agency of

the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of

grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience

develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love

for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the

power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17;

Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph.

2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.)


20. The Sabbath:

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted

the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's

unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest,

worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the

Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a

symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a

foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His

eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from

evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts.

(Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze.

20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)


21. Stewardship:

We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and

possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for

their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow

men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the

support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in

love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings

that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai

1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)


22. Christian Behavior:

We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of

heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in

those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that

our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and

beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat,

befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the

imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are

the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate

exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the

unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the

irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them

as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the

discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John

2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev.

11:1-47; 3 John 2.)


23. Marriage and the Family:

Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union

between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage

commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between

partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the

fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of

the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the

person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery.

Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully

commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of

the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members

shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love

and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a

loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body,

the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel

message. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32;

Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6;

Mal. 4:5, 6.)


24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it

Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning

sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and

began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the

prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It

is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by

the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service

the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are

purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to

heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are

deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the

living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in

Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates

the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have

remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will

mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28;

10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev.

14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)


25. The Second Coming of Christ:

The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel.

The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the

righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and

taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of

prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is

imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be

ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt.

24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21;

Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)


26. Death and Resurrection:

The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His

redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our

life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up

to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place

a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14;

Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)


27. The Millennium and the End of Sin:

The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first

and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be

utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its

close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The

unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city;

but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of

sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18,



28. The New Earth:

On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the

redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His

presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have

passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate

and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13;

Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)


Copyright © 2005, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists