Our Core Beliefs
Here is a summary:
- The Father, Son, and Spirit are one God, united in love for one another.
- Jesus Christ, as the Word made flesh, is fully God and fully human.
- Jesus accurately reveals the goodness and love of God, and reveals humanity as God intended us to be.
- As our Creator, Jesus represented all humanity, and all people benefit from his vicarious humanity: his life, death, resurrection and ascension.
Jesus Christ atoned for all sin and suffered its full consequence.
- God has in Christ reconciled all humanity to himself through his son, Jesus (Colossians 1:20). (However, universal atonement should not be equated with universalism.)
- The judgment of God against evil has been executed in Jesus Christ so that all might repent and receive forgiveness and, through the Holy Spirit, share in Christ’s resurrected, eternal life.
- People are exhorted to respond to this reconciliation and participate in the life for which we were all created.
- Jesus, as the nexus of divinity and humanity, has enabled humanity to participate in the life and love of the Trinity, which was God’s intent from before the beginning of time.
If you are interested in a comprehensive look at our theology and doctrines, read The God Revealed In Jesus Christ and The GCI Statement of Beliefs. Also see We Believe, which sets out our core beliefs in a question and answer format. For answers to frequently asked questions about our beliefs, click here and then click on the “FAQ” tab.
From The GCI Statement of Beliefs:
God, by the testimony of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential, yet distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The One God may be known only in the Three and the Three may be known only as the one true God, good, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and immutable in his covenant love for humanity. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and Author of human salvation. Though transcendent, God freely and in divine love, grace and goodness involves himself with humanity directly and personally in Jesus Christ, that humanity, by the Spirit, might share in his eternal life as his children.
The Triune God
1.1 Who is the God Christians worship?
In accordance with the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, the God we worship is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential, yet distinct Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Mark 12:29; Matt. 28:19; Acts 20:28; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 10:29; 1 Pet 1:2)
1.2 What does being triune tell us about God’s nature?
That God is the eternal communion of holy love shared by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (John 14:9; 1 John 4:8; Rom. 5:8; Titus 2:11; Heb. 1:2-3; 1 Pet. 1:2; Gal. 3:26)
1.3 Does that mean there are three Gods?
No. The triune God is one God who exists eternally as three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The triune God is one in being and three in Persons.
1.4 How can God be both one in being and three in Persons?
Though we cannot know exactly how God’s being functions since we are mere creatures, we can say that, unlike human persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are related to each other in such an absolutely unique and profound way that they are one in being. The oneness of God’s being is a tri-unity.
1.5 Are the three Persons of the Trinity three different ways God acts towards his creation, or three roles the one God plays?
No, in the being of God there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who know, love and glorify each other for all eternity. There never was a time when God was not triune.
1.6 Is one of the Persons of the Trinity the origin of the others, and thus superior?
No, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equally eternal and divine and share the same authority and power, and have the same mind, will and purpose in all things.
1.7 Does the equality of the three divine Persons mean that they are interchangeable with each other?
No, the divine Persons are not interchangeable “parts” of God. Each has a unique relationship of holy love to the other two, and each has an eternal name that reveals their real personal distinction.
1.8 What are the unique relationships in the being of the triune God that are not interchangeable?
The Father eternally begets the Son, the Son is eternally begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and through the Son.
1.9 Do the three divine Persons act independently of each other towards creation?
No, all the works of the triune God toward his creation are indivisible since God is one in being and of one mind, will, authority and holy love.
1.10 Is there no difference, then, in how the three divine Persons relate to creation?
There is a difference, for though the acts of the divine Persons are undivided, each contributes uniquely to the perfectly united works of the one triune God.
1.11 How can we speak of the unique contributions of the three divine Persons without separating their works?
We could say that one of the Persons initiates, or takes the lead, in one or another of the distinct and gracious acts towards the triune God’s creation, while the others perfectly follow in complete harmony with each other.
1.12 What are the primary acts of the triune God towards creation?
The Father is most associated with creation, the Son with redemption, and the Holy Spirit with bringing all things to perfection. However, all three of the divine Persons are involved in all the works of the one triune God.
1.13 Why did the triune God create?
Because the triune God is a living, loving and generative God who creates for the sake of communion and holy love with his creation.
1.14 Why did the triune God redeem creation?
From the beginning, God’s human creatures, in distrusting God, have alienated themselves and sought to live autonomously from their good, faithful and life-giving Creator. But because the triune God is a faithful and loving God who does not give up on his creatures, God himself made a way for them to be reconciled to him and thus return to fullness of communion with him as their Lord and Savior.
1.15 Why does the triune God now work to perfect the creation?
Because the triune God is a communion of perfect holy love who created us to share in the triune God’s love and life for all eternity and in that way give glory to God.
1.16 How can we finite creatures know, love and trust the triune God?
The triune God has the desire, will and ability to make himself known to his human creatures who do not have the desire, the will, or the ability to know God on their own. That revelation, which culminated in the Father’s personal self-revelation in Jesus Christ, has, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, been preserved for us in the Holy Scriptures.
1.17 What do the Holy Scriptures say about the triune God?
The Bible records Jesus’ teaching concerning the eternal names of the divine Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the relationships in the eternal being of God—most specifically knowing, loving and glorifying one another. Coming from the eternal communion of the Trinity, Jesus is the only one who can tell us surely and authoritatively that God, from eternity, is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father and those to whom the Son has chosen to reveal him. (Luke 10:22; Matt. 11:27; John 1:18; 17:25; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)
1.18 What do Christians understand from the Holy Scriptures about the character of the triune God revealed by Jesus Christ?
We learn that the character, mind, purpose, will and heart of the triune God is identical to what we see and hear in Jesus Christ, demonstrated by what he accomplished in his earthly ministry. Those who have met and seen the Son have indeed met in him the Father. We know the Father by knowing the Son. They are united in such a way that they have the same nature, character, heart, mind, will, authority, power and purpose. (John 10:30; 14:9; 17:11, 21-22; 1 John 2:23)
God the Son
3.1 Who is God the Son?
The Son of God is the second Person of the Trinity, eternally begotten of the Father. Like the Father, there never was a time when the Son did not exist. The Son is the eternal Word and the express image of the Father. The Father created all things through the Son, and the Son sustains all things by his Word. He was sent by the Father to be God revealed in the flesh for our salvation, Jesus Christ. (John 1:1, 10, 14; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:3; John 3:16)
3.2 What do Christians believe in confessing their faith in Jesus Christ as “God’s only Son”?
That without ceasing to be the uncreated Son of God, the eternal Son was sent by God the Father “from above” to do a unique work in the Spirit as a true human being, here “below.” There is only one eternal Son of God by nature. We become the adopted children of God by the grace of the only eternal Son of God, sharing in the gift of his sonship. (Luke 3:21-22; 12:49-50; John 8:23)
3.3 How do Christians understand the uniqueness of Jesus Christ?
No one else will ever be God incarnate. No one else can reconcile God and humanity in his own Person. No one else can make us true sons and daughters of God except the Son of God. No one else will ever die for the sins of the world, judge all sin, and overcome all evil and the death it brings. Only Jesus Christ is such a Person. Only he could do such a work, and he has done it. Jesus Christ is himself the only true mediator between God and humanity. (Is. 53:5; John 1:29; Col. 1:15-20; 1 Tim. 2:5)
3.4 What does the Creed mean when it says that Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary”?
First, that being born of a woman, Jesus was truly a human being. Second, that our Lord’s incarnation was a supernatural, holy event, brought about solely by the free divine grace of the Holy Spirit, surpassing any human possibilities. Third, that from the beginning of his life on earth, Jesus was set apart by his unique origin that joined his divine nature with human nature in the womb of Mary, all for the sake of accomplishing our salvation. (Luke 1:31, 35; Heb. 2:14; Phil. 2:5-7)
3.5 What do Christians affirm when they confess their faith in Jesus Christ as their “Lord”?
That having been raised from the dead, Jesus Christ reigns with compassion and justice over all things in heaven and on earth, especially over those who confess him by faith; and that by trusting, loving and serving him above all else, we give glory and honor to God. (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rev. 11:15; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:9-11)
3.6 What is the significance of affirming that Jesus Christ is “true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father”?
Only God deserves worship and only God can reveal to us who God is. Only God can save us from our sins, forgive us, rescue us from all evil and bring about a new heaven and earth. Only God can make us truly and eternally his beloved children. Being truly one in being with the Father, Jesus meets these conditions. As true God, Jesus, the Son incarnate, is the proper object of our worship as the self-revelation of God and the Savior of the world. (John 20:28; Matt. 11:27; 1 John 4:14)
3.7 What is the significance of affirming that Jesus is also “truly human”?
Being truly human, Jesus entered fully into our fallen situation and overcame it from within. By his pure obedience of faith in his Father, he lived in unbroken unity with God, even to the point of accepting a violent death. As sinners at war with grace, this is precisely the kind of life we fail to live. When we accept him and what he has done for us by faith, Jesus by his Holy Spirit removes the alienation our disobedience causes, clothes us with his perfect righteousness, and restores us to the right relationship with God that he worked out in his humanity and earthly life. (Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15; 5:8-9; Rom. 5:19)
3.8 How can Jesus be both truly God and truly human?
The mystery of Jesus Christ’s divine-human unity surpasses our understanding; only faith given to us by the Holy Spirit enables us to affirm it. When the Bible depicts Jesus as someone with divine power, status and authority, it presupposes his humanity. When the Bible depicts him as someone with human weakness, neediness and mortality, it presuppose his deity. Though we cannot understand how this could be, we can trust that the God who made heaven and earth and fashioned humanity according to his image revealed in his Son, is free to become God incarnate and thus to be God with us in this wonderful, awe-inspiring way. (Mark 1:27; 4:41; Matt. 28:18; Luke 22:44; John 1:1-5, 14; Job 5:9)
3.9 Was the covenant that God made with Abraham everlasting?
Yes. The covenant, made first with Abraham, was extended to Israel, then expanded, confirmed and fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. By faith in Jesus, Gentiles were welcomed into the covenant with God, thus confirming the promise that through Israel, God’s blessing would come to all peoples. Although for the most part Israel has not yet accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the God who has reached out to unbelieving Gentiles will not fail to show mercy to Israel as his people in an everlasting covenant. (Jer. 31:3; 2 Sam. 23:5; Rom. 11:29)
3.10 How did God use Israel to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus?
When God extended the covenant to Israel, God said they would be his people and he would be their salvation. He also promised that through them all the peoples of the earth would be blessed. Therefore, no matter how often Israel turned away from God, God still cared for them and acted on their behalf. God sent them prophets to declare God’s Word, priests to lead them in worship and to make sacrifice for the people’s sins, and kings to rule justly in the fear of God, upholding the poor and needy, and defending the people from their enemies. (Gen. 17:3-4; Ex. 6:4-5; Gal. 3:14; Jer. 30:22; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; Zech. 1:6; Lev. 5:6; Ps. 72:1, 4)
3.11 Why was the title “Christ” applied to Jesus?
“Christ” means “anointed one.” Israel’s prophets, priests and kings were anointed and their offices culminated in Jesus. By fulfilling the offices of prophet, priest and king, Jesus transformed them. In doing so he fulfilled Israel’s election for the sake of the world. (2 Cor. 1:20; Acts 10:37-38; Luke 4:17-19)
3.12 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of prophet?
Jesus was God’s Word to a dying and sinful world; he embodied the love he proclaimed. His life, death and resurrection became the great “yes” that continues to be spoken despite how often we have said “no” to God. When we receive this Word by faith, Christ enters our hearts that he may dwell in us forever, and we in him. (Acts 3:20, 22; John 1:18; Eph. 3:17)
3.13 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of priest?
As the lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, Jesus was both our priest and sacrifice. Confronted by our hopelessness in sin and death, he interceded by offering himself in order to reconcile us to God. Jesus now mediates all the things of God to us and our responses back to God. He even mediates and leads in our worship. (Heb. 4:14; John 1:29; Heb. 2:17; Eph. 1:7)
3.14 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of king?
Jesus was the Lord who took the form of a servant; perfecting royal power in temporal weakness. With no sword but the sword of righteousness, and no power but the power of God’s holy love, Christ defeated sin, evil and death by reigning from the cross. He continues to reign at God’s right hand. He is Lord over all authorities and powers whether earthly or heavenly, natural or human, private or political. (John 19:19; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Cor. 1:25; John 12:32)
3.15 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Jesus “was crucified under Pontius Pilate”?
First, that Jesus was rejected and abused by the religious and secular rulers of his day. His lordship was a threat to all evil powers and authorities since his righteousness exposed their injustice. Jesus’ death at the hands of these authorities provided a display that exposed the guilt of all humanity in all times and places. Second, and even more importantly, though innocent, Jesus submitted to condemnation by an earthly judge so that through him we, though guilty, might be acquitted before our just heavenly Judge. (Luke 18:32; Is. 53:3; Ps. 9:9; Luke 1:52; 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Tim. 4:8)
3.16 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Jesus “suffered death and was buried”?
That Jesus died, just like we do, showing that there is no sorrow he has not known, no grief he has not borne, and no price he was unwilling to pay to reconcile us to God. Jesus’ real death (confirmed by his burial) shows that he has taken on the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death. Rather than shrinking back, he endured death in order to overcome it. There is nothing we go through, not even death, that Jesus cannot redeem. (Matt. 26:38-39; Is. 53:5; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:19)
3.17 Why did Jesus have to suffer as he did?
Because grace is more abundant, and sin more serious, than we suppose. However cruelly we may treat one another, all sin is primarily against God. God condemns sin, yet never judges apart from grace. In giving Jesus to die for us, God took the burden of our sin into himself, where he judged it and removed it once and for all. The cross in all its severity reveals an abyss of sin endured and swallowed up by the suffering of divine love. Undoing sin and its consequences involves great cost to God—the price Jesus paid to make all things right, a price he willingly paid “for the joy that was set before him.” (Ps. 51:4; Rom. 8:1, 3-4; 1 Cor. 1:18; 5:8; Col. 1:20; James 2:13; Heb. 12:2)
3.18 What does the Creed affirm in saying about Jesus that “on the third day he rose again”?
That our Lord could not be held by evil and the power of death. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus overcame all evil and its ultimate consequence, renewing and restoring human nature to reach God’s intended purposes for all human beings. Jesus rose triumphant from the grave in a new, exalted kind of human life. In showing his followers the scars on his hands, feet and side, the one who was crucified revealed himself to them as the living Lord and Savior of the world. (Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Luke 24:36-40; John 20:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:5-8; John 20:27)
3.19 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Christ “ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father” and that he will “come again in glory”?
Forty days after his bodily resurrection, Jesus was taken up bodily and visibly into heaven to be with the Father. He did not leave his human nature behind, but remains fully human, though now glorified. One with us and with the Father, Jesus is the one mediator between human beings and God. As one of us, he continues his intercessions on our behalf. Though now visibly hidden from us, Jesus is not cut off from us in the remote past, nor is he in a place from which he cannot reach us. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present to us by grace. From heaven he reigns with the authority of the Father, protecting us, guiding us, and interceding for us until he returns visibly and bodily to earth in glory. We now live between the times of his first and second advents, awaiting his return. (Acts 1:6-11; Col. 3:1, 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25)
3.20 What does the Creed mean when it says that Jesus, when he returns in glory, will “judge the living and the dead”?
Scripture teaches that all humans will stand in the general resurrection before the judgment seat of Christ. The Judge before whom they will stand is the one who submitted to God’s judgment for our sake. By him our sin is identified and judged as evil, and in him it is condemned to obliteration so that we can be separated from our sin and be saved in him from evil’s ultimate destruction. That is the grace of God’s judgment in Jesus Christ. (John 5:22; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom. 14:10-11)
3.21 What will be the results of such a judgment?
Standing personally before the One who is their Lord and Savior, everyone will give an answer as to whether they will bow to him willingly and enter the kingdom of God prepared for them, or unwillingly bow and refuse to enter and exist under his gracious lordship forever. Thus, there will be a final separation of all those who repent and acknowledge their sin and their need for grace to deliver them from sin and be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and those who refuse to repent and receive God’s grace. (Phil. 2:10-11)
3.22 What will be the spiritual condition of those who refuse to acknowledge their need for forgiveness, refuse to repent and confess their sin, and despise God’s grace for them in Jesus Christ?
All those who refuse will have rejected God’s righteous and merciful judgment in Christ, and the separation of themselves from their sin that is available in Christ. They will have come to the place of knowingly and deliberately blaspheming or repudiating the Spirit who draws them and extends to them forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God accomplished for them by Jesus according to the Father’s will. Clinging to their sin in pride, they will condemn God and justify themselves against God, charging God with being evil. (Matt. 12:32; Heb. 2:3; 4:1-2; 6:3-6; 10:36-39)
3.23 What will be the ultimate consequences for those who self-righteously repudiate and despise God and all his benefits in Jesus Christ?
Repudiating God’s grace to deliver them from evil, bound to their sin, they will experience the ultimate condemnation of evil. They will experience this condemnation, not so much because of their sins, but because of their refusal to repent and the rejection of the grace extended to them through the merciful judgment executed upon sin for them in Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 5:10; Eccl. 12:14; Acts 17:31; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 4:17; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; Acts 10:42)
Section 4: God the Holy Spirit
4.1 Who is God the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, eternally proceeding from the Father through the Son. The Holy Spirit is the comforter promised by Jesus Christ, who unites us with the Father and the Son, and transforms us into the image of Christ. (Matt. 28:19; John 14:16; 15:26; Acts 2:38; John 14:17, 26)
4.2 How are Jesus and the Holy Spirit related?
Jesus’ whole life was lived in intimate communion with the Holy Spirit. He was conceived by the Spirit in the womb of Mary, baptized with the Spirit, and on the cross fulfilled his sacrificial ministry to the Father in the Spirit. Jesus now ministers in the world by sending the Spirit who ministers in accordance with the finished work of Christ. (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18; Matt. 12:18; Luke 3:22; 10:21; 24:49; 23:46; Heb. 9:14)
4.3 Was the Holy Spirit at work in the world before the incarnation of the Son of God?
Yes, the Spirit was at work at creation and in the history of the world, with a focus on the people of Israel, the particular people God called to be a blessing to all peoples—blessings given ultimately in and through Jesus. The Spirit’s ongoing ministry will eventually bring all creation to full maturity, harmony and perfection. He is the Lord and the giver of life. (Gen. 1:1-2; Joel 2:28; Ezek. 11:19; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1-21; Rom 1:4; 8:22-24; 1 Pet. 1:2)
4.4 What do Christians believe in confessing their faith in the Holy Spirit?
Apart from the Spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ can neither be known, loved or served. The Holy Spirit is the personal bond by which Jesus Christ unites us to himself. He is the teacher who opens our hearts to Christ, and the comforter who leads us to repentance. He is the liberator who frees our enslaved wills, empowering us to live joyfully and freely in Christ’s service. By the working of the Spirit, our love, knowledge and service of Christ are inseparably related. (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 12:3; Rom. 5:5; 1 Cor. 6:17, 19; 3:16; John 4:24)
4.5 How do Christians receive the Holy Spirit and what is the result?
We receive the Spirit by receiving the Word of God. As the midwife of the new creation, the Spirit arrives with the Word, frees us to hear, accept and trust in it as the Word of God, brings us to rebirth and assures us of eternal life. The Spirit nurtures, corrects and strengthens us with the pure spiritual milk of the Word. By the Spirit, we are conformed to the character of Christ, growing in faith, hope and love in personal and responsive relationship with the Father through the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17; John 14:16-17; John 3:5-6; Luke 11:13; 1 Thess. 1:5; John 16:8; Rom. 8:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:2)
4.6 Why do we not, by the Spirit, experience here and now all that Christ has done for us?
We live in the time between Christ’s resurrection and return, which the Bible calls “the present evil age.” During this “time between the times,” we do not experience all that Christ has for us, though we are assured that we will when he returns. In the meantime, we are given the Spirit as a “down payment”—the “first fruits” and “sealing” of the fullness yet to come. (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Col. 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:4; Gal. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Rom. 8:23)
4.7 What is the Holy Spirit’s ministry to believers?
Sent by Jesus, the Holy Spirit ministers to all people on the basis of Christ’s finished work. The Spirit then ministers to believers in a particular way, helping them share in all that Jesus has accomplished on their behalf (John 7:39; 16:7; Gal. 3:13-14).
The Holy Spirit’s particular ministry to believers includes many things:
- Renewing believers by sharing with them Christ’s resurrected, glorified human nature. (8:2, 10-11; Titus 3:4-6)
- Opening their hearts and minds to Jesus and his teachings. (Acts 26:8; John 14:26; 15:26)
- Granting them repentance by which they see their need for forgiveness and confess their sin. (John 16:8-11; 1 Thess. 4:1-6)
- Granting them faith by which they affirm from the heart that Jesus is Lord. (1 Cor. 12:3)
- Indwelling them, thus uniting them to Christ in a spiritual union. (John 14:17; 17:23; 1 Cor. 6:19; Rom. 8:11)
- Granting them freedom and comfort, enabling them to pray when they are at a loss for words. (2 Cor. 3:17; Acts 9:31; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Rom. 8:26-27)
- Joining them to other believers as brothers and sisters within the one body of Jesus Christ, the Church, where they experience a unity and harmony that embraces the diversity of the Church’s many members. (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:22; 4:4; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:27)
- Granting them the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is Christ’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
- Granting them gifts for ministry in and through the Church, by which they participate with Christ in his ministry to fulfill the Father’s mission to the world. (1 Cor. 12:4, 11; Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; 13:4; 15:28; 16:6; 21:4)
- Leading them to use these gifts in ways that express the fruit of the Spirit, thus avoiding the self-centeredness that leads to division within the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:31-13:13)
4.8 What is the Holy Spirit’s ministry to unbelievers?
The Spirit is at work in the world, continuing the earthly ministry of Jesus, reaching out with God’s compassion and wisdom to all people, because Christ died for all. The Holy Spirit is present in many ways to the world, including ministering to unbelievers, often in ways unseen to us, though often involving the Spirit-led ministry of the Church (John 3:8; Acts 8:26-39; John 12:32; Heb. 7:25).
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of unbelievers includes many things:
- Seeking to bring all to repentance and faith. (2 Pet. 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:25)
- Preparing and freeing unbelievers to receive God’s forgiveness, to accept God’s freely-given grace, to die to pride and any hope of justifying oneself, and to experience the benefits of what Christ has already done for them, including sending the Holy Spirit to draw them to Christ. (John 16:8-11; 1 Thess. 4:1-6, Acts 10:43)
- Resisting the resistance of those who seek to avoid or reject the grace of God. (Acts 26:8; John 14:26; 15:26)
4.9 What happens to unbelievers who resist the Holy Spirit’s ministry?
The Spirit does not indwell people who, in resisting him, do not receive Christ through repentance and faith. Because the Spirit does not unite unbelievers to Christ in a spiritual union, they are not incorporated into the body of Christ (the Church) in the way believers are. People who continually refuse to repent, die to self and receive God’s grace are not able to enjoy the benefits of the completed work of Christ done on their behalf. The Bible gives strict warnings concerning the consequences of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, thus rejecting his ministry on their behalf. (John 14:17; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 2:14; 1 John 4:6; Heb. 4:2; Mark 3:29; Acts 26:18)
In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam.
Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram.