Statement of Faith Series: Jesus Christ (Part 3a)
1. What is so special and unique about Jesus Christ?
Wow! To answer that I would need to write a whole volume, rather than a paragraph! The rest of the church statement summarizes it, but I know you are searching for some explanations and illustrations in plain speech.
In the first place, Jesus is unique and special because He is GOD. Hundreds of years before He came to earth, this wonderful fact was revealed in Old Testament Scripture. Jesus Himself repeatedly affirmed that it was so.
Do you remember how we talked about the Attributes of God – those characteristics that make Him uniquely different from any created being? Well, as you read through the New Testament you will discover that Jesus is described by all of those same attributes.
The Apostle John nicely summed it up by saying that all the things recorded about Jesus were evidence that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” In fact, that claim was one of the reasons the Jewish religious teachers wanted Him to be crucified (see John 10:30-31).
I must comment on one other fact recorded in our church statement. Jesus isn unique because He “was born of the virgin Mary.” How is this possible and why is it important? Oh, I know, there are scholarly critics who seem to think that their wisdom is greater than that of Holy Scripture. They say this is quite impossible and is contrary to all scientific fact.
But listen to this portion of Scripture: Romans 5:18 “By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death because of sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” You see? we all descended from Adam (inherit his spiritual dna). But read on in verse 19: “For as by one man’s disobedience, many (all) were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] many shall be made righteous.” But that Second Man must not carry the spiritual dna DNA of Adam, or He would have to die for His own sin. All of the ancient believers looked for one who would be qualified. See
Isaiah 7 verse 14 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and she shall call His name Immanuel.” That name means “God with us.” I hope you will read the announcement of how this would be fulfilled, Luke 1:26-38. Notice particularly that Mary was a virgin (vs27); that Mary herself did not see how it would be possible(v34); that it would be a miracle of creation (v35); and, that “with God, nothing shall be impossible.” (v37) I am not being unkind but just truthful when I say that those who deny the virgin birth have a small god.
Jesus is special. He had to be born without a sinful nature if He were to accomplish the great purpose for which He, the eternal God, took our human form.
I caution you, don’t fall into Satan’s trap and think yourself to be wiser than God.
2. The statement of faith summarizes Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and at the present as His "mediatorial work". What does that mean?”
A “mediator” is someone who stands between opposing persons or groups in order to bring about reconciliation. All humans are sinners and therefore at odds with the Holy God. The Bible says, “There is one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (I Tim 2:5). He is qualified because He can fully represent both sides. He IS God and He BECAME man. The statement tells us that He began that work of reconciling us to God by dying for our sins. Sorry, I must take time to define some of the words in that statement. You just don’t use them in everyday conversation.
The word “vicarious” means, “in our place,” “a substitute.” The Old Testament prophet Isaiah was led by the Holy Spirit to write: “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray; every one of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD laid on Him [His Son, Jesus] the iniquity of us all”(Isaiah 53:6). In the New Testament the Apostle Peter summarizes it nicely, “He (Christ) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.”(I Pet 2:24) I hope you understand that: we ought to die for our sins, but Jesus became our Substitute. That was step one in restoring a relationship between God and man.
But, let’s look at that other special word, “atoning” It means “paying the price.” Scripture says “the wages of sin is death.” But Jesus (the only One who had no sin of His own) took the guilt to Himself and died in our place. In that way, He satisfied the requirements of God’s holy law. And He made it possible for us to ask for and to receive full forgiveness for our sins. So, as Mediator, Jesus made it possible for sinners to be at peace with God.
The statement also refers to Jesus destroying “the work of Satan.” Satan (also known as “the devil”) is the great spirit being who opposes God and tries to deceive and destroy those who believe in Christ. In the first Epistle of John, chapter 3, verse 8 we are told that everyone who practices sin (and that is all of us) is in league with Satan.
Read on: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” That does not mean that Satan stops trying to defeat us. It does mean that we can trust Christ to keep us from falling into Satan’s traps.
His resurrection from the grave is proof that God was well-pleased with Jesus’ vicarious atoning work. This part of the Gospel must be emphasized, because “If Christ is not raised, your faith is in vain; you are still in your sins” (I Cor 15:17). Let’s rejoice in Jesus’ promise: John 14:19, “Because I live, you shall live also.”
And now, just a word about Christ’s present ‘mediatorial’ work. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus gave a final commission to His disciples. “And while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51). He is not sitting there idly waiting for us to join Him. Hebrews 7:25 says “He is able to save completely those who come to God by Him, because He ever lives to make intercession for us.” Let’s be quite honest about our own weakness. Often we fail to pray, and even when we do pray we don’t always know just how to pray. But we have a Mediator in the Presence of God, our heavenly Father, Who continually makes intercession for us. That makes me feel much more secure!
What about you?