The Church of the Nazarene is a Protestant Christian church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Organized in 1908, the Church is now home to more than 1.7 million members worshiping in almost 21,000 local congregations in 151 world areas.
What do Nazarenes believe about God?
As part of the Christian community, Nazarenes understand that there is one God, who has always existed and will always exist (Deuteronomy 6:4). We believe that He is creative (Genesis 1; Isaiah 40:25-26) and holy (Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 5:16, 6:1-7) and that His purposes are carried out in this world (Jeremiah 29:11; Acts 1:6-7).
We also understand that God's nature is "three-fold": Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14). This concept of God's three-fold nature, the Trinity, was understood by the early Christian Church as the best way to explain what they had experienced. They knew from their Jewish roots that there is only one God, but they also knew that Jesus acted as if He were God. In addition, the Holy Spirit, empowering the church as promised by Jesus and the Old Testament, seemed to have all of God's power as well. Thus they understood that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are parts of the one God who has always existed. Nazarenes embrace this belief born out by God's Word.
What do Nazarenes believe about the Holy Spirit?
Before Jesus died, He told His followers that He would leave them. He also promised that they would receive "another Counselor" who would be with them forever (John 7:37-39, 14:16). After His death and resurrection, He told His followers that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). He then left His followers (Acts 1:9).
Days later, Jesus' followers did receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 18, 32-33). The Church immediately recognized the presence of the Holy Spirit as being equivalent to God's presence (Acts 15:8-9; Ephesians 3:14-19; 1 John 3:24).
How does the Nazarene understanding of God make a difference in the lives of Nazarene members?
Nazarenes understand that God intends to make us like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2). This means that we are to become holy and Christlike (Leviticus 11:44; Matthew 5:48). After we have received our new spiritual lives (John 3:5-7), we experience the Holy Spirit teaching us how to live in a way that will please God (Galatians 5:22-23).
This means that Nazarenes are not content with knowing that God has met them once. They actively seek to learn more about Him and His plans by reading the Bible, gathering with other believers, and spending time communicating with God in prayer.
Want to learn more?