4. The Doctrine of Jesus Christ – His Person and Work
The Person of Jesus Christ – and the work accomplished by Him as the Founder of the Church – is central to the Christian faith. Christianity is NOT just another belief system, a list of moral codes, or a set of mysterious “revelations”. True Christian faith is based upon and inseparable from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, having an accurate and thorough understanding of Christ’s Person and work is essential.
A. Jesus Christ’s Person
- Jesus Christ’s Virgin Birth (Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-35; John 1:14;Gal 4:4).
The virgin birth of Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament (Isa 7:14) as a sign of the Messiah’s arrival. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is critical and foundational to His Person and work, and therefore to all of New Testament theology.
If Jesus had been born of a natural, human father, He would have inherited the sinful Adamic nature of the human race (Rom 5:12-21). Thus, He would not have been sinless. If Christ had not been sinless, His atoning death on the Cross would have been invalid: He would have died for His own sins and thus would not have been able to be the sinless sacrifice for all humanity (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:26,27; 1 Pet 1:18,19).
If Jesus did not have a virgin birth, it would mean that He is not God born in the flesh. Therefore, He could not return as the King of kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 1:17,18; 17:14; 19:16).
Without His virgin birth, Jesus Christ could have been nothing more than a well-intended but misguided and mentally unstable religious zealot. All of His claims about His deity, His death, His subsequent resurrection from the dead, and God’s unfolding revelation as to His Kingdom, would be invalid without the fact that Jesus Christ was God born of a virgin.
2. Jesus Christ’s Humanity
Jesus shared in the burdens, weaknesses, temptations and limitations of being born “in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7; read also Hebrews 2:14,17,18). He became fully human, yet was without sin (Heb 4:15) .
- was born an infant (Luke 2:7);
- grew up after the manner of all children (Luke 2:39-51);
- grew up physically, intellectually and socially through childhood to adulthood (Luke 2:52); hungered for food and thirsted (Matt 4:2; John 4:7) ;
- experienced weariness (John 4:6); needed sleep (Matt 8:24);
- felt sorrow and grief; wept (Luke 19:41; John 11:35);
- physically died (John 19:33);
- was physically resurrected from the dead as the “firstfruits ” (1 Cor 15:20-23) prefiguring the resurrection of all believers in Christ (Matt 28 :1-8; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29 ; 1 Cor 15:4-7).
3. Jesus Christ’s Divinity (Deity)
False religions and cults seek to deny that Christ was and is fully God.
Some false religions or cults acknowledge that Christ was a real, historical person – but they deny that He is God. Other groups teach that Christ was a “spirit-being” who “worked his way” to “godhood”, and claim that other people can do the same through their “good works”. Many bound in false religions consider Jesus to be a mystic or great teacher; but they do not accept what Jesus, the Son of God, actually taught.