March 29, 2015

What We Believe about Jesus Christ

We believe Jesus has been active since before the creation of the world.

As the second person of the Godhead, Jesus has always existed, enjoying the love of the Father from “before the creation of the world” (John 17; John 1:1).  Along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus took an active role in the making of our world (Colossians 1:16).

We believe Jesus is one with the Father, and is also fully God.

Even as a human, Jesus continued to be divine and part of the Godhead (John 10:30).  Jesus is God, not a hybrid, not a special agent on task, not a reflection, and not a product of God. Jesus is of the same essence, of the same substance as the Father (John 14: 9-10). The Son makes known, or unveils, the Father, enabling us to rightly and truly know and encounter God as He truly is(John 1:18; Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:27).

We believe Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s redemptive[i] promise in the Scriptures.

The Bible states that all of creation looks forward to God’s ultimate act of restoration in Jesus (Isaiah 65:17-18, 25; Romans 8:19).  Jesus is the promised Savior and the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17). The Bible is a reliable and comprehensive witness to the redemptive activity of Jesus Christ(Luke 24:27).

We believe Jesus took on human flesh, and is fully human.

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and was flesh and blood like us (Matthew 1:20-23; John 1:14). Jesus became human in order to make himself knowable to us, to offer himself as an acceptable sacrifice on our behalf, and to represent us before the Father(Hebrews 2:17).

We believe Jesus became like us so that we might become like him in his perfect humanity.

As our Savior and high priest,[ii] Jesus assumed our broken humanity in order to redeem, restore, and to offer it to the Father (Hebrews 3:1).  In his human flesh he lived a perfect life of obedience, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves (Hebrews 4:15).

We believe Jesus died on a cross to take away the sin of the world.

Jesus displayed the deep love of God as, in trusting obedience to the Father, he willingly laid down his life in our place, dying the death we deserved – on the cross.  In doing so, Jesus took away our sin and broke death’s hold on us forevermore (Colossians 1:22-23).  He established a new and everlasting covenant[iii] between God and humankind (2 Corinthians 5:21).   He now enables us to share in his relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit – and know the love of God (John 15:9; 16:5-15; Ephesians 3:14-19; 1 John 4:16).

We believe Jesus was raised victoriously from the dead.

The Father raised Jesus from the dead (Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-9; John 20:1-18; Acts 2:32).  When Jesus rose from the dead, he broke forevermore the power of death, and removed the permanence of its sting (John 11: 25-26).   Jesus now provides a certain hope that we who trust in him will also one day be raised bodily like him to new and everlasting life (1 Corinthians 15:21-23).

We believe Jesus ascended to the Father in his human body.

Jesus ascended to the Father (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11).  Jesus, in his resurrected human body, represents us to the Father (Hebrews 7:25).  Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, continues to be present and active in the ministry of his body, the Church (John 16:7; Acts 2).

We believe Jesus is Lord and Savior.

Jesus, having triumphed over sin and death, is now exalted as Lord of all (Acts 4:12).  As the one mediator[iv] between God and man, God’s one and only Son, he alone has access to the Father, and no one can come to the Father except by him (John 14: 6).  Jesus continues His ongoing ministry until the end of the age, when he will return to judge the living and the dead (Matthew 28:20; Acts 10:42-43). Jesus continues his work of revealing the fullness of God’s wisdom through the Church to the authorities of this world and the spiritual realms (Romans 3:22-26; Ephesians 3:10-11).


[i] Redemptive – describing the process of recovering what was lost by making payment or sacrifice. We are “bought back” from the bondage of sin through the payment of Jesus’ death

[ii] High Priest – a description of the person from the Old Testament Jewish Levitical system who offered sacrifices for the atonement of sin; fulfilled in Jesus. God appointed Him as the chief priest who would sacrifice himself so that others would receive the gift of eternal salvation

[iii] Covenant – the act of God in freely establishing a mutually binding relationship with humankind.

[iv] Mediator – a go-between; one who brings reconciliation between two parties.

 

Last updated (July 2013)