Summary: the first of the Church of the Nazarene's Article of Faith is "The Triune God." This it the first in my series showing where we get our Articles of Faith.
This morning, I begin a series of sermons on our Articles of Faith, which are found in the Manual for the Church of the Nazarene. As a Nazarene pastor, we are supposed to teach these to our congregations each year, but oddly enough, I have never heard a series based on them, so I felt it would be good to put one together.
Many pastors have become reluctant to preach Nazarene doctrine because they are afraid that the people that come to us from Baptist churches or Catholic churches will leave the church. I believe that there are very few things contained within our Articles of Faith that would scare away our people. It is possible that, if you are coming to us from the Baptist church or somewhere with that type of theology, there may be a few things that you might have issue with. However, if we don’t teach them up front, we only invite division and strife down the line. I believe that it is important to understand the basis for our theology and the Articles of Faith are the bedrock upon which our church is built because we believe that they are completely biblical in their origin.
We are going to go through them in order, so we will begin this journey by looking at the first article:
The Triune God
Let me first read you the description of this tenet of our faith:
We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that He only is God, holy in nature, attributes, and purpose. The God who is holy love and light is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I have already preached a few sermons that speak to a few of these parts of God’s nature…Now, I want to look at some verses that corroborate some of these other statements. The first one that I think is very important is Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
This statement made by Yahweh, Himself, implies far more in the Hebrew text than it says in the English translation. What it really means is that Yahweh is the only God and the Israelites are to serve Him and Him alone. He tells us many times that He is a jealous God and will not allow polytheism to creep into the Israelite customs. The first portion of the Ten Commandments speaks to the exclusivity that God requires of His people and the importance of keeping any semblance of worshipping anything or anyone other than Him.
The Lord God is eternal. Revelation 1:8 says:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Alpha and Omega. These are the symbols here on the pulpit. They mean the first and the last. Even His name, Yahweh, means “I Am.” This name implies that He always was and He always will be. ‘There in no shadow of changing with Him.’ He must be the constant in our ever-changing lives. It is not just because God is omnipotent, or all-powerful, that we can rely on Him. It is also because He never changes. Deuteronomy 33:27 says: