What do Christadelphians believe?
The Statement of Faith
THE FOUNDATION -- That the book currently known as the Bible, consisting of the Scriptures of Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, is the only source of knowledge concerning God and His purposes at present extant or available in the earth, and that the same were wholly given by inspiration of God in the writers, and are consequently without error in all parts of them, except such as may be due to errors of transcription or translation. 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:13; Heb. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Cor. 14:37; Neh. 9:30; John 10:35.
1. That the only true God is He Who was revealed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by angelic visitation and vision, and to Moses at the flaming bush (unconsumed) and at Sinai, and Who manifested Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ, as the supreme self-existent Deity, the ONE FATHER, dwelling in unapproachable light, yet everywhere present by His Spirit, which is a unity with His person in heaven. He hath, out of His own underived energy, created heaven and earth, and all that in them is. Isa. 40:13-25; 43:10-12; 44:6-8; 45:5; 46:9-10; Job 38-40; Deut. 6:1-4; Mark 12:29-32; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; Neh. 9:6; Job 26:13; Psa. 124:8; 146:6; 148:5; Isa. 40:25-27; Jer. 10:12-13; 27:5; 32:17-25; 51:15; Acts 14:15; 17:24; 1 Chron. 29:11-14; Psa. 62:11; 145:3; Isa. 26:4; 40:26; Job 9:4; 36:5; Psa. 92:5; 104:24; 147:4-5; Isa. 28:29; Rom. 16:27; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2 Chron. 16:9; Job 28:24; 34:21; Psa. 33:13-14; 44:21; 94:9; 139:7-12; Prov. 15:3; Jer. 23:24; 32:19; Amos 9:2-3; Acts 17:27-28; Psa. 123:1; 1 Kings 8:30-39, 43, 49; Matt. 6:9; 1 Tim. 6:15-16.
2. That Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, begotten of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, without the intervention of man, and afterwards anointed with the same Spirit, without measure, at his baptism. Matt. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:16; Acts 2:22-24, 36; Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-35; Gal. 4:4; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 3:16-17; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; John 3:34; 7:16; 8:26-28; 14:10-24.
3. That the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth on the earth was necessitated by the position and state into which the human race had been brought by the circumstances connected with the first man. 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Rom. 5:12-19; Gen. 3:19; 2 Cor. 5:19-21.
4. That the first man was Adam, whom God created out of the dust of the ground as a living soul, or natural body of life, "very good" [Publisher's Note: Gen. 1:31] in kind and condition, and placed him under a law through which the continuance of life was contingent on obedience. Gen. 2:7; 18:27; Job 4:19; 33:6; 1 Cor. 15:46-49; Gen. 2:17.
5. That Adam broke this law, and was adjudged unworthy of immortality, and sentenced to return to the ground from whence he was taken-a sentence which defiled and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity. Gen. 3:15-19, 22-23; 2 Cor. 1:9; Rom. 7:24; 2 Cor. 5:2-4; Rom. 7:18-23; Gal. 5:16-17; Rom. 6:12; 7:21; John 3:6; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22; Psa. 51:5; Job 14:4.
6. That God, in His kindness, conceived a plan of restoration which, without setting aside His just and necessary law of sin and death, should ultimately rescue the race from destruction, and people the earth with sinless immortals.
Rev. 21:4; John 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 John 2:25; 2 Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:2; Rom. 3:26; John 1:29.
7. That He inaugurated this plan by making promises to Adam, Abraham and David, and afterwards elaborated it in greater detail through the prophets.
Gen. 3:15; 22:18; Psa. 89:34-37; 33:5; Hos. 13:14; Isa. 25:7-9; 51:1-8; Jer. 23:5.
8. That these promises had reference to Jesus Christ, who was to be raised up in the condemned line of Abraham and David, and who, though wearing their condemned nature, was to obtain a title to resurrection by perfect obedience, and, by dying, abrogate the law of condemnation for himself, and all who should believe and obey him. 1 Cor. 15:45; Heb. 2:14-16; Rom. 1:3; Heb. 5:8-9; 1:9; Rom. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 8:3-4; Heb. 2:15; 9:26; Gal. 1:4; Heb. 7:27; 5:3-7; 2:17; Rom. 6:10; 6:9; Acts 13:34-37; Rev. 1:18; John 5:21-22, 26-27; 14:3; Rev. 2:7; 3:21; Matt. 25:21; Heb. 5:9; Mark 16:16; Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:22; (Psa. 2:6-9; Dan. 7:13-14; Rev. 11:15; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 14:9; Eph. 1:9-10) -- [Note: These passages in parathensis must be considered together.]
9. That it was this mission that necessitated the miraculous begettal of Christ of a human mother, enabling him to bear our condemnation, and, at the same time, to be a sinless bearer thereof, and, therefore, one who could rise after suffering the death required by the righteousness of God. Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; Isa. 7:14; Rom. 1:3-4; 8:3; Gal. 4:4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 2:14-17; 4:15.
10. That being so begotten of God, and inhabited and used by God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God manifested in the flesh-yet was, during his natural life, of like nature with mortal man, being made of a woman of the house and lineage of David, and therefore a sufferer, in the days of his flesh, from all the effects that came by Adam's transgression including the death that passed upon all men, which he shared by partaking of their physical nature. Matt. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:17.
11. That the message he delivered from God to his kinsmen, the Jews, was a call to repentance from every evil work, the assertion of his divine sonship and Jewish kingship; and the proclamation of the glad tidings that God would restore their kingdom through him, and accomplish all things written in the prophets. Mark l:l5; Matt. 4:17; 5:20-48; John 10:36; 9:35; 11:27; 19:21; 1:49; Matt. 27:11-43; John 10:24-25; Matt. 19:28; 21:42-43; 23:38-39; 25:14-46; Luke 4:43; 13:27-30; 19:11-27; 22:28-30; Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:44.
12. That for delivering this message, he was put to death by the Jews and Romans who were, however, but instruments in the hands of God, for the doing of that which He had determined before to be done-namely, the condemnation of sin in the flesh, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, as a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God, as a basis for the remission of sins. All who approach God through this crucified, but risen, representative of Adam's disobedient race, are forgiven. Therefore, by a figure, his blood cleanseth from sin. Luke 19:47; 20:1-26; John 11:45-53; Acts 10:38-39; 13:26-29; 4:27-28; Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:10; Rom. 3:25; Acts 13:38; 1 John 1:7; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2:24; Heb. 9:14; 7:27; 9:26-28; Gal. 1:4; Rom. 3:25; 15:8; Gal. 3:21-22; Gal. 2:21; 4:4-5; Heb. 9:15; Luke 22:20; 24:26, 46-47; Matt. 26:28.
13. That on the third day, God raised him from the dead, and exalted him to the heavens as priestly mediator between God and man, in the process of gathering from among them a people who should be saved by the belief and obedience of the Truth. 1 Cor. 15:4; Acts 10:40; 13:30-37; 2:24-27; 4:27-33; Luke 24:51; Eph. 1:20; Acts 5:31; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:1; Acts 15:14; 13:39; Heb. 4:14-15.
14. That he is a priest over his own house only, and does not intercede for the world, or for professors who are abandoned to disobedience. That he makes intercession for his erring brethren, if they confess and forsake their sins.
John 17:9; Heb. 10:26; 1 John 2:1; Prov. 28:13.
15. That he sent forth apostles to proclaim salvation through him, as the only Name given under heaven whereby men may be saved. Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 26:16-18; 4:12.
16. That the way to obtain this salvation is to believe the Gospel they preached, and to take on the Name and service of Christ, by being thereupon immersed in water, and continuing patiently in the observance of all things he has commanded, none being recognized as his friends except those who do what he has commanded. Acts 13:48; 16:31; Mark 16:16; Rom. 1:16; Acts 2:38, 41; 10:47-48; 8:12; Gal. 3:27-29; Rom. 6:3-5; 2:7; Matt. 28:20; John 15:14.
17. That the Gospel consists of "The things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ." Acts 8:12; 19:8, 10, 20; 28:30-31.
18. That the "Things of the Kingdom of God" are the facts testified concerning the Kingdom of God in the writings of the prophets and apostles, and definable as in the next 12 paragraphs.
19. That God will set up a Kingdom in the earth, which will overthrow all others, and change them into "the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ."
Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; Rev. 11:15; Isa. 32:1, 16; 2:3-4; 11:9-10.
20. That for this purpose God will send Jesus Christ personally to the earth at the close of the times of the Gentiles. Acts 3:20-21; Psa. 102:16, 21; 2 Tim. 4:1; Acts 1:9, 11; Dan. 7:13; Luke 21:24-27; Rom. 11:25-26.
21. That the Kingdom which he will establish will be the Kingdom of Israel restored, in the territory it formerly occupied, namely, the land bequeathed for an everlasting possession to Abraham and his Seed (the Christ) by covenant.
Mic. 4:6-8; Amos 9:11, 15; Eze. 37:21-22; Jer. 23:3, 8; Gen. 13:14-17; Heb. 11:8-9; Gal. 3:16; Lev. 26:42; Mic. 7:20.
22. That this restoration of the Kingdom again to Israel will involve the ingathering of God's chosen but scattered nation, the Jews; their reinstatement in the land of their fathers, when it shall have been reclaimed from "the desolation of many generations"; the building again of Jerusalem to become "the throne of the Lord" and the metropolis of the whole earth. Isa. 11:12; Jer. 31:10; Zec. 8:8; Eze. 36:34-36; Isa. 5l:3; 60:15; 62:4; Jer. 3:17; Mic. 4:7-8; Joel 3:17; Isa. 24:23.
23. That the governing body of the Kingdom so established will be the brethren of Christ, of all generations, developed by resurrection and change, and constituting, with Christ as their head, the collective "Seed of Abraham," in whom all nations will be blessed, and comprising "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets," and all in their age of like faithfulness. Dan. 12:2; Luke 13:28; Rev. 11:18; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; John 5:28-29; 6:39-40; Luke 14:14; Matt. 25:34, 46; Rev. 5:9-10; Dan. 7:27.
24. That at the appearing of Christ prior to the establishment of the Kingdom, the responsible (namely, those who know the revealed will of God, and have been called upon to submit to it), dead and living -- obedient and disobedient -- will be summoned before his judgment seat "to be judged according to their works," and "receive in body according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; Rom. 2:5-6, 16; 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 4:5; Rev. 11:18.
25. That the unfaithful will be consigned to shame and "the second death," and the faithful, invested with immortality, and exalted to reign with Jesus as joint heirs of the Kingdom, co-possessors of the earth, and joint administrators of God's authority among men in everything. Matt. 7:26; 8:12; 25:20-30; Dan. 12:2; Gal. 6:8; 5:21; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 2:12; Rev. 21:8; Mal. 4:1; Psa. 37:30-38; Prov. 10:25-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-55; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; James 1:12; Rom. 2:7; John 10:28; Matt. 5:5; Psa. 37:9, 22, 29; Rev. 5:9; Dan. 7:27; 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 5:10; Psa. 49:7-9; Luke 22:29-30.
26. That the Kingdom of God, thus constituted, will continue a thousand years, during which sin and death will continue among the earth's subject inhabitants, though in a much milder degree than now. Rev. 20:4-9; 11:15; Isa. 65:20; Eze. 44:22, 25; 1 Cor. 15:24-28.
27. That a law will be established which shall go forth to the nations for their "instruction in righteousness," resulting in the abolition of war to the ends of the earth, and the "filling of the earth with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea." Mic. 4:2; Isa. 42:4; 11:1-10; 2:4; Hab. 2:14.
28. That the mission of the Kingdom will be to subdue all enemies, and finally death itself, by opening up the way of life to the nations, which they will enter by faith, during the thousand years, and (in reality) at their close. 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 21:4; 20:12-15; Isa. 25:6-8.
29. That at the close of the thousand years, there will be a general resurrection and judgment, resulting in the final extinction of the wicked, and the immortalization of those who shall have established their title (under the grace of God) to eternal life during the thousand years. Rev. 20:11-15; 1 Cor. 15:24.
30. That the government will then be delivered up by Jesus to the Father, Who will manifest Himself as the "All-in-All"; sin and death having been taken out of the way, and the race completely restored to the friendship of the Deity.
1 Cor. 15:28.
The Commandments of Christ
The following is a list of commands which form the basis of our life in Christ. Most were spoken directly by Christ; many were added for clarity by the writers of the epistles.
- Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you (Matt. 5:44).
- Resist not evil: if a man smite thee on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:30-40).
- Avenge not yourselves: rather give place unto wrath: and suffer yourselves to be defrauded (Rom. 12:18, 19).
- If a man take away thy goods, ask them not again (Luke 6:29, 30).
- Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7).
- Labor not to be rich: be ready to every good work, give to those who ask; relieve the afflicted (1 Tim. 6:8; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:16; James 1:27).
- Do not your alms before men: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. 6:1-4).
- Recompense to no man evil for evil: overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17).
- Bless them that curse you; let no cursing come out of your mouth (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14).
- Render not evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing (1 Pet. 3:9).
- Pray for them that despitefully use you and afflict you (Matt. 5:44).
- Grudge not: judge not: complain not: condemn not (James 5:9; Matt. 7:1).
- Put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).
- Confess your faults one to another (James 5:16).
- Be not conformed to this world: love not the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15).
- Deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off (Titus 2:13; Matt. 5:30).
- Servants, be faithful, even to bad masters (Eph. 6:5-8).
- Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate (Rom. 12:16).
- Owe no man anything (Rom. 13:7,8).
- In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1).
- Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Matt. 22:37).
- Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7).
- In everything give thanks to God and recognize Him in all your ways (Eph. 5:20; Prov. 3:6).
- As you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12).
- Take Christ for an example and follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21).
- Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith (Eph. 3:17).
- Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things; yea, than your own life (Luke 14:26).
- Confess Christ freely before men (Luke 12:8).
- Beware lest the cares of life or the allurements of pleasure weaken his hold on your heart (Matt. 24:44).
- Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:39).
- Exercise lordship over no one (Matt. 23:11).
- Seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2).
- Let your light shine before men: hold forth the word of life. Do good to all men as ye have opportunity (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:16; Gal. 6:10).
- Be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15).
- Be gentle, meek, kind-hearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving (2 Tim. 2:24; Titus 2:2; Eph. 4:32).
- Be sober, grave, sincere, temperate (Phil. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
- Speak the truth every man with his neighbor: put away all lying (Eph. 4:25).
- Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23).
- Be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and strong (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-10).
- Be clothed with humility; be patient toward all (Col. 3:12; Rom. 12:12).
- Follow peace with all men (Heb. 12:14).
- Sympathize in the joys and sorrows of others (Rom. 12:15).
- Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful (Phil. 4:8).
- Refrain utterly from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting, and foolish talking (Eph. 5:3,4).
- Whatever you do, consider the effect of your action on the honor of God's name among men. Do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31; 3:17).
- Reckon yourselves dead to all manner of sin. Henceforth live not to yourselves, but to him who died for you, and rose again (Rom. 6-11; 2 Cor. 5:15).
- Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in well doing (Titus 2:14; Gal. 6:9).
- Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16).
- Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 3:8; 4:6).
- Obey rules; submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (Titus 3:1).
- Be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15, 16).
- Give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14).
Doctrines to be Rejected
As a further clarification to the points made in our Statement of Faith, we provide the following list of doctrines to be rejected.
Fellowship cannot be extended to anyone who holds, teaches, fellowships or countenances any of the doctrinal heresies referred to below:
- We reject the doctrine - that the Bible is only partly the work of inspiration - or if wholly so, contains errors which inspiration has allowed.
- We reject the doctrine - that God is three persons.
- We reject the doctrine - that the Son of God was co-eternal with the Father.
- We reject the doctrine - that Christ was born with a "free life."
- We reject the doctrine - that Christ's nature was immaculate.
- We reject the doctrine - that the Holy Spirit is a person distinct from the Father.
- We reject the doctrine - that man has an immortal soul.
- We reject the doctrine - that man consciously exists in death.
- We reject the doctrine - that the wicked will suffer eternal torture in hell.
- We reject the doctrine - that the righteous will ascend to the kingdoms beyond the skies when they die.
- We reject the doctrine - that the devil is a supernatural being.
- We reject the doctrine - that the Kingdom of God is "the church."
- We reject the doctrine - that the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ merely.
- We reject the doctrine - that Christ will not come till the close of the thousand years.
- We reject the doctrine - that the tribunal of Christ, when he comes, is not for judgment of saints, but merely to divide among them different degrees of reward.
- We reject the doctrine - that the resurrection is confined to the faithful.
- We reject the doctrine - that the dead rise in an immortal state.
- We reject the doctrine - that the subject-nations of the thousand years are immortal.
- We reject the doctrine - that the Law of Moses is binding on believers of the Gospel.
- We reject the doctrine - that the observance of Sunday is a matter of duty.
- We reject the doctrine - that baby sprinkling is a doctrine of Scripture.
- We reject the doctrine - that those without knowledge - through personal choice, immaturity, or lack of mental capacity - will be saved.
- We reject the doctrine - that man can be saved by morality or sincerity, without the Gospel.
- We reject the doctrine - that the Gospel alone will save, without obedience to Christ's commandments.
- We reject the doctrine - that a man cannot believe without possessing the Spirit of God.
- We reject the doctrine - that men are predestined to salvation unconditionally.
- We reject the doctrine - that there is no sin in the flesh.
- We reject the doctrine - that Joseph was the actual father of Jesus.
- We reject the doctrine - that the earth will be destroyed.
- We reject the doctrine - that baptism is not necessary to salvation.
- We reject the doctrine - that a knowledge of the Truth is not necessary to make baptism valid.
- We reject the doctrine - that some meats are to be refused on the score of uncleanness.
- We reject the doctrine - that the English are the ten tribes of Israel, whose prosperity is a fulfillment of the promises made concerning Ephraim.
- We reject the doctrine - that marriage with an unbeliever is lawful.
- We reject the doctrine - that we are at liberty to serve in the Army, Navy, Police Force, or any service whatsoever requiring the Oath of Allegiance or use of force.
- We reject the doctrine - that we are at liberty to take part in politics, or recover debts by legal coercion.