|Christian Universalist Beliefs|
The Bible is the creed of the Christian Universalist. In this respect, the Christian Universalist beliefs are the same as most other Christians differing mainly in the extent of God's love and the final results of His salvation. But as they have been, at various periods, much misrepresented by their opposers, a Profession of Belief, embracing those important points of doctrine in which all Christian Universalists are agreed, eventually became necessary.
The General Convention of Universalists for the New England States and others, at that time the highest official body in our order, meeting in Winchester, New Hampshire in 1803, adopted and published the following, not as binding on the faith of its members but as declarative of their sentiments. No alterations have been necessary, neither have any been made in it, since that period. It is, therefore, submitted an official and correct declaration of the faith of The Universalist Church and Christian Universalists at large.
The Winchester Profession of 1803
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination, of mankind.
We believe there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to maintain order, and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable unto men.
Lest it should be thought that the above Profession of Faith is too brief, and not sufficiently expressive of the Christian Universalist views on all points connected with the Christian religion we here insert a form of faith which was drawn up by Rev. D. Skinner in the early 1800's, and which has been published and extensively circulated in the United States; promising, however, that we do not consider this creed as binding on the consciences of our fellow-men, but as "a mere general declaration not of the things which must be believed, but of the things that are believed among us."
A Bible Creed
In the late 1800's, in a Sunday School tract, written by Thomas Sawyer, D.D. is another statement of the Christian Universalist doctrine.
Article I: The Bible2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21
We believe the authenticity, genuineness, and inspiration, of the Holy Scriptures; that both the Old and New Testaments contain the revealed will of God and that the Bible is the only and sufficient rule of faith and practice.
Article II: GodMatt. 6:9; Luke 6:35; Rom. 5:8; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 12:9; 1 John 4:8
We believe the existence of the one living and true God, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all worlds, beings, and things. We believe that God is self-existent, independent and eternal; omniscient and omnipresent; infinite in wisdom, goodness and power; in justice, mercy and truth. With Saint Paul we say, "To us there is but one God, even the Father." We believe God to be the universal Father of mankind; the Father of Spirits, our Father in heaven, who loves the whole human family, without exception, even while they are yet sinners, who is kind to the unthankful and to the evil, and who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. In one word, we believe that God is Love.
Article III: Jesus ChristMatt. 1:21; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor. 15:25, 28; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 1:2-3; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 4:14
We believe that to manifest his love for the human race, God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world, to reveal more perfectly the divine character and purposes, and finally, through death and resurrection, to bring life and immortality to light. We believe that Christ is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person. We believe that he is appointed by the Father, heir of all things, and is Lord of all, and the he must reign, till he has subdued all things to himself, when he himself will deliver up the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all. Thus he will save his people from their sins, and be what inspiration proclaims him to be, the Savior of the world. To this end we believe he gave himself a ransom for all, and tasted death for every man, for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
Article IV: The Holy SpiritJohn 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Gal. 5:22-23
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God, the spirit of truth, the Comfortor, the guide, who convicts the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, and whose fruits in the believing soul are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Article V: RepentenceActs 3:19; Heb. 11:6
We believe in the importance of indespensable necessity of repentance, that is, godly sorrow for sin, and a true reformation of heart and life.
Article VI: New BirthJohn 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal 5:22-23
We believe in the new birth, or a change of heart, effected in the soul by a cordial belief of the gospel truth, accompanied by the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.
Article VII: Good WorksTitus 3:8; 1 John 4:19; 5:1:-2
We believe in the importance of good works, not to purchase salvation, or gain the love of God -- for salvation is of grace alone, and God loves even his enemies -- but as the natural fruits of the gospel cordially received, the evidences of indwelling grace, and because they are good and profitable to men.
Article VIII: Judgment
We believe in a just and equitable, and at the same time, a parental administration of the divine government; in which God renders to every man according to his works, so that he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done, and there is no respect of persons. Beyond this state of rewards and punishments, we believe a state of immortal felicity will be conferred upon the whole human family, as a free gift, by the infinite grace of the Father, through Christ Jesus.
Article IX: Resurrection1 Cor. 15:22
We believe in the universal resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Article X: Everlasting LifeLuke 20:36; 1 Cor. 15:23
We believe in a life and immortality for the human race beyond the grave, where the mortal shall put on immortality, and where man can die no more, but shall be as the angels, and be children of God.
Article XI: The ConsumationIsa. 53:11; Rom. 5:19; 1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:9-10; Phil. 2:10-11
We believe that, in the fulness of time, God will bring together all things in Christ, when, in the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father; when, as by one man's disobedience, many are made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall the same many be made righteous; in one word, when Christ shall have taken away the sin of the world, accomplished the great mission on which he came, done the will of God, seen the fruits of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied, and GOD BE ALL IN ALL.