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

Article I.
Concerning God.

1 Cor. 8:4-6; Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; John 4:24; Mal. 2:10, and 3:6; Gen. 17:1; Ps. 147:5; 45:9, and 85:10;
Wisdom 11:24; Isa. 45:21; Acts 17:24-28; 1 Tim 2:4, 5; Eph. 1:11; 1 John 4:8-16.

We believe in one, only living and true God; that he is a pure spirit, self-existent, immutable, eternal, infinite in wisdom, power and goodness, and possesses every natural and moral perfection which can render his character amiable, lovely, reverend and adorable; that he is the Creator, Upholder, Benefactor and moral Governor, of the universe; that he stands in the relation of Father to all mankind; that, as he has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, we are his offspring, all have one Father, one God has created us; that though there is that which are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there are gods many, and lords ), yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; that God is love, good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works; that he loves all the things that are, and abhors nothing that his hands have made, for he never would have created anything to have hated it; that he is a just God and a Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth; that he works all things after the counsel of his own will; that all his attributes harmonize; that in him mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have embraced each other.

Article II.
Concerning Christ.

1 Cor. 8:6, and 15:3, 4, 22, 24-28; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; 1 John 2:2, and 4:14; John 1:45; 3:34, 35; 6:37, and 17:2, 3;
Matt. 1:21; Heb. 1:3; Rom. 14:9; Eph. 4:8; 2 Tim. 1:10; Isa. 53:11; Col. 1:20; Phil 2:10, 11.

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ; that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, the one Mediator between God and men, the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, the brightness of the Fatherís glory, and the express image of his person; that to him the Divine Spirit was given without measure, and hence, God hath made him both Lord and Christ -- given all things into his hand, even power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him; that all that the Father gives him shall so come to him as not to be cast out; that he was sent to reveal the true character of God to the world, and save mankind from sin, misery, darkness and death; that, to this end, he gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time; is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world; that, having been crucified on the cross, he arose from the dead on the third day, ascended up on high, leading captivity captive, and giving gifts unto men; and having brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel, he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; shall reconcile all things unto God, by the blood of his cross; that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; that he shall reign in his mediatorial kingdom till all things shall be subdued unto him; till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed; till every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess him Lord, to the glory of God the Father; and that he will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, that God may be all in all.

Article III.
Concerning the Scriptures.

2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:15-17

We believe in the Divine authenticity of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, that they contain a true and faithful record of the revelation of God to men, and are a perfect and infallible rule of faith and practice; that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and that all Scripture, given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness, that the servants of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, and become wise unto salvation.

Article IV.
Concerning the Motive to Obedience.

Rom. 2:4, and 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Tit. 2:11, 12, and 3:8; 1 John 4:11, 19

We believe that, as God has commended his love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, it is our duty to love him because he first loved us; that if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another; that the goodness of God leads to repentance; that the grace of God, which brings salvation to all men, has appeared, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world; and that those who believe in God, ought to be careful to maintain good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men; that Christ should be our pattern, and his love should constrain us to walk in his footsteps.

Aritcle V.
Concerning the Reward of Obedience.

Ps. 1:3, and 119:165; Prov. 3:17, 18; Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 4:3; 1 Tim. 4:10; James 1:25, and 3:18.

We believe that great peace have they who love Godís law, and nothing shall offend them; they are like trees planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth their fruit in season; their leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever they do shall prosper; that Wisdomís ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace; that she is a tree of life to them that lay hold of her, and happy is every one that retains her; that the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of those that make peace; that Christís yoke is easy and his burden light, and all who come to him will find rest to their souls; that we who have believed do enter into rest; that, though God is the Saviour of all men, he is especially so of the believer, and that whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Article VI.
Concerning the Punishment of Disobedience.

Rom. 2:6, 9; Col. 3:25; Prov. 13:15; Matt. 16:27; Isa. 57:20, 21

We believe that God, as the righteous and moral Governor of the universe, will render to every man according to his deeds: tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile; that he who does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done, and there is no respect of persons; that the way of transgressors is hard; that the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt; for there is no peace, says our God, to the wicked.

Article VII.
Concerning the remedial Design and Limitation of Punishment.

Lam. 3:31, 32; Isa. 54:7, 8, and 57:16-18; Heb. 12:7-11; Ps. 89:30-35, and 119:67

We believe the Lord will not cast off forever; but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies; that he will not contend forever, nor be always angry, lest the spirit should fail before him, and the souls he has made; that although he may apparently forsake his children for a small moment, but with everlasting kindness will he have mercy on them, and heal them, and lead them also, and restore comforts unto them; that whom he loves he chastens (and he loves and chastens all) for their profit, that they may be partakers of his holiness, and be enabled afterwards to say, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept your word."

Article VIII.
Concerning Baptism.

Matt. 28:19; John 4:2; Acts 2:41; Rom. 6:3-5, and 14:1-6; 1 Cor. 1:14-17; 1 Pet. 3:21

As there is differnce of opinion among the sincere followers of Christ, in regard to this ordinance, and this difference ought not to separate true disciples one from another, we believe it is the duty of every one to follow the dictates of his or her conscience, leaving each to judge both of the subject and mode of Baptism, as shall seem most consistent with Scripture and reason.

Article IX.
Concerning Repentance, Faith and Love.

Matt. 4:16, and 22:37-40; Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19, 5:31, and 20:21; Heb. 11:;16; 1 John 3:23, 24

We believe, according to the divine doctrine and preaching of Christ and his apostles, that repentance toward God for sin, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and love to God and our fellow-creatures, are means of grace appointed by God, and essential to our salvation and glory.

Article X.
Concerning the Extent of Salvation.

Eph. 1:9-11, and 2:4; Prov. 21:1; Ps. 110:3; Rev. 5:13

We believe that God, who is rich in mercy, who turns the hearts of the children of men as the rivers of water are turned, who works all things after the counsel of his own will, whose people shall be willing in the day of his power, will, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, gather together in one all things, in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him; and that every (intelligent) creature in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all those are in them, shall at last unite in the song of Moses and the Lamb, saying Blessing and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

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 Bible

2 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: God

Matt. 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 Christ

Matt. 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 Spirit

John 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: Repentence

Acts 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 Birth

John 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 Works

Titus 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: Resurrection

1 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 Life

Luke 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 Consumation

Isa. 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.