The penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23). This means three kinds of death:
- Being spiritually dead while still physically alive (Eph 2: 1-5);
- A literal, physical death and then the judgment (Heb 9:27);
- Eternal death, the separation of the human spirit from God for This last death is called the “second death ” (Rev 21:8; read Matthew 25:41).
As already mentioned, sin is universal to all mankind (Ps 143:2; Isa 53:6; Rom 3:10-12; 1 John 1:8). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ” (Rom 3:23). But God, in His great mercy, is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance ” (2 Pet 3:9). Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:15).
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) .