The Gospel Theology of Sabbatismos
- The God of the Bible is one God, consisting of three distinct, eternal, and equal persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:13; Matt. 28:19; Col. 2:9). The one God in triune form is
called the Trinity.
- The holy scriptures, in the original manuscripts, are inerrant expressions of God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pe. 1:20-21). The Bible writers used their own words, under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, to accurately and faithfully express the divine truths they had been shown (verbal-plenary inspiration). All doctrine must be established by the Bible only.
- The love, grace, justice, power, wisdom, omniscience, faithfulness, holiness, and sovereignty of God transcend human comprehension (1 Cor. 1:25).
- Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross (the atonement) is the only basis for forgiveness and salvation (Rom. 3:24-25;
Rom. 5:11; Eph. 1:3-8; Col. 1:19-23; Heb. 10:10-18).
- When Adam sinned, guilt and condemnation were imputed to all humanity (Rom. 5:12-19; Eph. 2:1-3); through the death of Christ, perfect righteousness is imputed (or credited) to all who believe
(Rom. 4:1-8). Salvation is a gift of God’s grace accessed through faith apart from any human works (Eph. 2:8-9). Those who truly believe in Christ as Savior
and Lord have a faith relationship with Him which results in bearing fruit (John 15:4-5). However, mere belief, or an intellectual acknowledgment of God, is not necessarily faith (James 2:19). Faith
is just as much a gift of God’s grace as salvation (Eph. 2:8). If sinners are condemned apart from works and also saved apart from works, then less-than-perfect works cannot separate believers from
God (Rom. 8:31-39).
- Justification is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers--it is God’s declaration that believers are perfect in Christ (Rom. 4:1-8).
Justification is the experience of salvation, and it is irrevocable (Rom. 5:9; Rom. 8:28-30; Col. 3:3-4). Those who are justified have already “passed from death to life” (John 5:24).
- Sanctification can be understood as a gift of God imputed (credited) along with justification (1 Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14) and as the post-justification process of growing in Christ (Rom. 6:19;
Rom. 12:2). Sanctification is a natural result of being justified. Sanctification of believers will be completed when Christ returns (I John 3:2).
- Human beings consist of body and soul/spirit (2 Thess. 5:23). The spirit God placed in each human being is the point of contact with the Holy Spirit (John 4:24: Eph. 6:18; Rom. 1:9). The spirit
returns to God when the body dies (Acts 7:59). Believers are described already seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
- The Old Covenant, consisting of the Ten Commandments and the other laws given on Sinai (Ex. 34:28), was given exclusively to the Jews (Ex. 34:27; Deut. 29:1; I Kings 8:9); the death of Christ
made the entire Old Covenant “obsolete” for believers (Heb. 8:13; Rom. 10:4; Gal. 5:18).
- The New Covenant governing believers is the law of faith (Rom. 3:27-28), also called the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and it is lived in the Spirit (Rom. 7:6; Rom. 8:1-4; Gal.
5:16-26). For believers, the death of Christ completely satisfies the demands of God’s law (Rom. 3:21; Rom. 6:14; Rom. 8:1-2; Rom. 10:4; Gal. 2:15-21). Christian behavior should not be defined in
terms of the Old Covenant (Ten Commandments). Christian behavior is carefully delineated under the New Covenant, and while faithful believers are neither saved nor lost on the basis of behavior,
obedient growth in grace is characteristic of true believers (2 Peter 3:18).
- The seventh-day Sabbath is the sign of the Old Covenant (Ex. 31:13, 17). The entire Old Covenant,
including its sign, was set aside for believers by the atoning death of Christ (Col. 2:13-17). New Covenant believers experience Sabbath in Christ on an on-going, moment-to-moment basis. No
particular day of worship is set apart in the New Testament because Sabbath rest in Christ is life in the Spirit (Rom. 14:5-6; Heb. 4:9).
- God’s ways and character are perfect; therefore, His ultimate judgment against sin (damnation in hell) is perfect, as every created being will acknowledge when every knee shall bow before Jesus
Christ (Phil. 2:9-11).