Dive230518 – God The Son

From our previous study ...

    • There is only one God.
    • God is one Being.
    • God is one Being in three Persons.
    • The three Persons in the Godhead are distinct, but not separate.

When used as adjectives, distinct means capable of being perceived very clearly, whereas separate means apart from (the rest)1. Distinct is used when you want to say that something is obviously separate or different from other things. It is often used when talking about more than one thing.

From the GCI website …



Grace Communion International believes that theology should be rooted in the Bible, especially the New Testament.  We see a reliable theology articulated by Irenaeus, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzus, and more recently, Karl Barth, Thomas F. Torrance, and many others.  This theology is often referred to as Trinitarian Theology due to its emphasis on the relational nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here is a summary of our core beliefs:

  • The Father, Son, and Spirit are one God, united in love for one another.
  • Jesus Christ, as the Word made flesh, is fully God and fully human.
  • Jesus accurately reveals the goodness and love of God, and reveals humanity as God intended us to be.
  • As our Creator, Jesus represented all humanity, and all people benefit from his vicarious humanity: his life, death, resurrection and ascension.
    Jesus Christ atoned for all sin and suffered its full consequence.
  • God has in Christ reconciled all humanity to himself through his son, Jesus (Colossians 1:20). (However, universal atonement should not be equated with universalism.)
  • The judgment of God against evil has been executed in Jesus Christ so that all might repent and receive forgiveness and, through the Holy Spirit, share in Christ’s resurrected, eternal life.
  • People are exhorted to respond to this reconciliation and participate in the life for which we were all created.
  • Jesus, as the nexus of divinity and humanity, has enabled humanity to parti­cipate in the life and love of the Trinity, which was God’s intent from before the beginning of time.

If you are interested in a comprehensive look at our theology and doctrines, read The God Revealed In Jesus Christ and The GCI Statement of BeliefsAlso see We Believe, which sets out our core beliefs in a question and answer format.  For answers to frequently asked questions about our beliefs, click here and then click on the “FAQ” tab.


From The GCI Statement of Beliefs



Christians are exhorted to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  The Spirit of God leads the church into all truth (John 16:13).  Accordingly, the following statement of beliefs is not a closed creed.   GCI constantly renews its commitment to truth and deeper understanding and seeks to respond to God’s guidance in its beliefs and practices.

Summary of Our Christian Faith

  • There is one God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • God the Father made all things through the Son, sent the Son for our salvation, and gives us the Holy Spirit.
  • The Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, and is the perfect revelation of the Father and the perfect representative of humanity.  He suffered and died on the cross for all human sin, was raised bodily on the third day, and ascended to heaven.  Standing in for all humanity before the Father, Jesus Christ provides the perfect human response to God.  Since he died for all, all died in him, and all will be made alive in him.
  • The Holy Spirit brings sinners to repentance and faith, assures believers of their forgiveness and acceptance as God’s dearly loved children, and works in them to conform them to the image of Jesus Christ.
  • The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God that testifies to Jesus Christ.  The Bible is fully authoritative for all matters of faith and salvation.
  • Salvation comes only by God’s grace and not by works, and it is experienced through faith in Jesus Christ. Christians respond to the joy of salvation when they gather in regular fellowship and live godly lives in Jesus Christ.
  • We look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come.

The Triune God

For articles on God and the Trinity, click here.

God, by the testimony of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential, yet distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The One God may be known only in the Three and the Three may be known only as the one true God, good, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and immutable in his covenant love for humanity. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and Author of human salvation. Though transcendent, God freely and in divine love, grace and goodness involves himself with humanity directly and personally in Jesus Christ, that humanity, by the Spirit, might share in his eternal life as his children.

(Mark 12:29; Matthew 28:19; John 14:9; 1 John 4:8; Romans 5:8; Titus 2:11; Hebrews 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:2; Galatians 3:26)

God the Father  

God the Father is the first Person of the triune God, of whom the Son is eternally begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds through the Son. The Father, who made all things seen and unseen through the Son, sends the Son for our salvation and gives the Holy Spirit for our regeneration and adoption as children of God.

(John 1:18; Romans 15:6; Colossians 1:15-16; John 3:16; 14:26; 15:26; Romans 8:14-17; Acts 17:28)

The Son of God

The Son of God is the second Person of the triune God, eternally begotten of the Father.  He is the Word and the express image of the Father.  The Father created all things through the Son, and the Son sustains all things by his word.  He was sent by the Father to be God revealed in the flesh for our salvation, Jesus Christ.  Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, two natures in one Person.  He is the Son of God and Lord of all, worthy of worship, honor and reverence.  As the prophesied Savior of humanity, he suffered and died for all human sin, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven.  Taking on our broken and alienated humanity, he has included the entire human race in his right relationship with the Father, so that in his regeneration of our humanity we share in his sonship, being adopted as God’s own children in the power of the Spirit.  As our representative and substitute, he stands in for all humanity before the Father, providing the perfect human response to God on our behalf and reconciling humanity to the Father.  He will come again in glory as King of kings over all nations.  

(John 1:1, 10, 14; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:3; John 3:16; Titus 2:13; Matthew 1:20; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Titus 3:4-5; Hebrews 2:9; 7:25; Galatians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 1:9-10; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 19:16)

For articles about Jesus Christ, click here. 



The Apostles’ Creed


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit,  the holy catholic* Church,  the communion of saints,  the forgiveness of sins,  the resurrection of the body,  and the life everlasting.  


*  The word "catholic" in the Apostles' Creed refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(From the Book of Common Prayer) 



I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic* Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.  Amen.


The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen.  

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father.  Through him all things were made.  For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy, all-embracing and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

From The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

3.1 Who is God the Son?

The Son of God is the second Person of the Trinity, eternally begotten of the Father.  Like the Father, there never was a time when the Son did not exist.  The Son is the eternal Word and the express image of the Father.  The Father created all things through the Son, and the Son sustains all things by his Word.  He was sent by the Father to be God revealed in the flesh for our salvation, Jesus Christ.

  • John 1:1, 10, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
  • Colossians 1:15-17  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or [a]principalities or [b]powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
  • Hebrews 1:1-3    God, who [a]at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,   
  • John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He ga ve His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Comment: Note that the question asks “Who is God the Son?” The Son is just as much God as the Father and the Holy Spirit are. Jesus is not a lesser God or a created being. He is fully God

3.2 What do Christians believe in confessing their faith in Jesus Christ as "God's only Son"?

That without ceasing to be the uncreated Son of God, the eternal Son was sent by God the Father “from above” to do a unique work in the Spirit as a true human being, here “below.”  There is only one eternal Son of God by nature.  We become the adopted children of God by the grace of the only eternal Son of God, sharing in the gift of his sonship.

  • Luke 3:21-22  When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”  
  • Luke 12:49-50  “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!  
  • John 8:23  And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  

Comment: While we are sons and daughters of God, we are not eternal like Christ. His sonship and his work as a human paves the way for our adoption as children, but we are not sons and daughters in the same way that Christ is the “Son.” When Jesus became human he didn’t cease to be God.

3.3 How do Christians understand the uniqueness of Jesus Christ?

No one else will ever be God incarnate. No one else can reconcile God and humanity in his own Person. No one else can make us sons and daughters of God except the Son of God. No one else will ever die for the sins of the world, judge all sin, and overcome all evil and the death it brings. Only Jesus Christ is such a Person. Only he could do such a work, and he has done it. Jesus Christ is himself the only true mediator between God and humanity.

  • Isaiah 53:5    But He was wounded for our transgressions,  He was bruised for our iniquities;  The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,  And by His stripes we are healed. 
  • John 1:29    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
  • Colossians 1:15- 20  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or [a]principalities or [b]powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.  19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.   
  • 1 Timothy 2:5    For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Comment: It’s very important that we understand that it is Christ who is unique and not the Church. The Church is not the savior or the way to salvation, Christ is.

3.4 What does the Creed mean when it says that Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary"?

First, that being born of a woman, Jesus was truly a human being. Second, that our Lord's incarnation was a supernatural, holy event, brought about solely by the free divine grace of the Holy Spirit, surpassing any human possibilities. Third, that from the beginning of his life on earth, Jesus was set apart by his unique origin that joined his divine nature with human nature in the womb of Mary, all for the sake of accomplishing our salvation.

  • Luke 1:31, 35  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus ... 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  
  • Hebrews 2:14  Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil
  • Philippians 2:5-7   Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  

Comment: Jesus was a union of human and divine. As God he took on our humanity in himself. As God he experienced life as a human being in the way that we do. He fully experienced the temptation all humans experience.

3.5 What do Christians affirm when they confess their faith in Jesus Christ as their "Lord"?

That having been raised from the dead, Jesus Christ reigns with compassion and justice over all things in heaven and on earth, especially over those who confess him by faith; and that by trusting, loving and serving him above all else, we give glory and honor to God.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  
  • Revelation 11:15    Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The [a]kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
  • Ephesians 1:20-23  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  
  • Philippians 2:9-11    Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

Comment:  The term “Confess your faith” means more than just telling people about Christ.  It means being able to tell people in detail what you believe about him and how that affects your values and lifestyle.  To “affirm” means to state without doubt.  When you affirm, you mean it!

3.6 What is the significance of affirming that Jesus Christ is “true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father”?

Only God deserves worship and only God can reveal to us who God is.  Only God can save us from our sins, forgive us, rescue us from all evil and bring about a new heaven and earth.  Only God can make us truly and eternally his beloved children. Being truly one in being with the Father, Jesus meets these conditions.  As true God, Jesus, the Son incarnate, is the proper object of our worship as the self-revelation of God and the Savior of the world.

  • John 20:28  And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
  • Matthew 11:27  All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 
  • 1 John 4:14    And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

Comment:  Jesus is just as much God as the Father. Jesus was not made or created or born in the sense that there was a time that he didn’t exist.  Rather, Jesus is eternal, as is the Father.

3.7 What is the significance of affirming that Jesus is also “truly human”?

Being truly human, Jesus entered fully into our fallen situation and overcame it from within.  By his pure obedience of faith in his Father, he lived in unbroken unity with God, even to the point of accepting a violent death.  As sinners at war with grace, this is precisely the kind of life we fail to live.  When we accept him and what he has done for us by faith, Jesus by his Holy Spirit removes 11 the alienation our disobedience causes, clothes us with his perfect righteousness, and restores us to the right relationship with God that he worked out in his humanity and earthly life.

  • Hebrews 2:17-18  Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being [a]tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.  
  • Hebrews 4:15    For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  • Hebrews 5:8-9   though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,  
  • Romans 5:19    For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Comment: Because Jesus was human he was able to live the sort of life that we are not able to. Alienation means isolation or distance or separation but it’s a perceived isolation, because in reality God never stops loving us. Sin prevents us from accepting it and makes us feel distanced.

3.8 How can Jesus be both truly God and truly human?

The mystery of Jesus Christ's divine-human unity surpasses our understanding; only faith given to us by the Holy Spirit enables us to affirm it.  When the Bible depicts Jesus as someone with divine power, status and authority, it presupposes his humanity.  When the Bible depicts Jesus as someone with human weakness, neediness and mortality, it presupposes his deity.  Though we cannot understand how this could be, we can trust that the God who made heaven and earth and fashioned humanity according to his image revealed in his Son, is free to become God incarnate and thus to be God with us in this wonderful, awe-inspiring way.

  • Mark 1:27  Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this?  For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
  • Mark 4:41  And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
  • Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  
  • Luke 22:44  And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
  • John 1:1-5, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it . . . 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  
  • Job 5:9  Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number.  

Comment: In simple terms we can’t really explain this concept. It’s something that God helps us to accept and believe. To presuppose is to assume that something is already in place. So when we talk of Jesus as a man we do it assuming that he is still God and vice versa.

3.9 Was the covenant that God made with Abraham everlasting?

Yes.  The covenant, made first with Abraham, was extended to Israel, then expanded, confirmed and fulfilled in the coming of Jesus.  By faith in Jesus, Gentiles were welcomed into the covenant with God, thus confirming the promise that through Israel, God's blessing would come to all peoples.  Although for the most part Israel has not yet accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the God who has reached out to unbelieving Gentiles will not fail to show mercy to Israel as his people in an everlasting covenant.

  • Jeremiah 31:3  The Lord has appeared [a]of old to me, saying:  “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;  Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  
  • 2 Samuel 23:5  “Although my house is not so with God, Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure.  For this is all my salvation and all my desire; Will He not make it increase?
  • Romans 11:29  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Comment: The covenant made with Abraham pointed the way to Christ.

3.10 How did God use Israel to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus?

When God extended the covenant to Israel, God said they would be his people and he would be their salvation.  He also promised that through them all the peoples of the earth would be blessed.  Therefore, no matter how often Israel turned away from God, God still cared for them and acted on their behalf.  God sent them prophets to declare God's Word, priests to lead them in worship and to make sacrifice for the people's sins, and kings to rule justly in the fear of God, upholding the poor and needy, and defending the people from their enemies.

  • Genesis 17:3-4  Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.  
  • Exodus 6:4-5   I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers.  And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.  
  • Galatians 3:14   that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
  • Jeremiah 30:22   ‘You shall be My people, And I will be your God.’ ”
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10   But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  
  • Zechariah 1:6   Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers?   “So they returned and said: ‘Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us.’ ” ’ ” 
  • Leviticus 5:6     and he shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin.
  • Psalm 72:1, 4   Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son . . . He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor.  

Comment: God’s faithfulness to Israel despite their faithlessness to him created the society into which Jesus was born. God also used Israel to create and preserve the scriptures.

3.11 Why was the title "Christ" applied to Jesus?

“Christ” means “anointed one.” Israel’s prophets, priests and kings were anointed and their offices culminated in Jesus.  By fulfilling the offices of prophet, priest and king, Jesus transformed them. In doing so he fulfilled Israel's election for the sake of the world.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:20  For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
  • Acts 10:37-38  that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
  • Luke 4:17-19   And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”   

Comment:  The term “Christ” was applied to Jesus because he embodied all the characteristics of a king, priest and prophet rolled into one. He was the longed for Savior and Redeemer Israel had hoped for.

3.12 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of prophet?

Jesus was God's Word to a dying and sinful world; he embodied the love he proclaimed. His life, death and resurrection became the great “yes” that continues to be spoken despite how often we have said “no” to God. When we receive this Word by faith, Christ enters our hearts that he may dwell in us forever, and we in him.

  • Acts 3:20, 22   and that He may send [a]Jesus Christ, who was [b]preached to you before . . . For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.   
  • John 1:18   No one has seen God at any time.  The only begotten [a]Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.  
  • Ephesians 3:17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Comment:  The job of a prophet was to speak to the people for God and tell them what he wanted.  Jesus was a prophet because his life sent a message to Israel telling them of God’s love.

3.13 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of priest?

As the lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, Jesus was both our priest and sacrifice. Confronted by our hopelessness in sin and death, he interceded by offering himself in order to reconcile us to God. Jesus now mediates all the things of God to us and our responses back to God. He even mediates and leads in our worship.

(Heb. 4:14; John 1:29; Heb. 2:17; Eph. 1:7)

Comment: The role of a priest is different from a prophet. A priest intercedes for humanity to God i.e. a priest speaks to God on behalf of people. He presents our case.

3.14 How did Jesus Christ fulfill the office of king?

Jesus was the Lord who took the form of a servant; perfecting royal power in temporal weakness. With no sword but the sword of righteousness, and no power but the power of God’s holy love, Christ defeated sin, evil and death by reigning from the cross. He continues to reign at God’s right hand. He is Lord over all authorities and powers whether earthly or heavenly, natural or human, private or political.

(John 19:19; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Cor. 1:25; John 12:32)

Comment: Christ rules very differently from earthly kings. He is first and foremost a servant. It’s important that the Church, the body of Christ reflects this type of leadership.

3.15 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Jesus "was crucified under Pontius Pilate"?

First, that Jesus was rejected and abused by the religious and secular rulers of his day. His lordship was a threat to all evil powers and authorities since his righteousness exposed their injustice. Jesus’ death at the hands of these authorities provided a display that exposed the guilt of all humanity in all times and places.

Second, and even more importantly, though innocent, Jesus submitted to condemnation by an earthly judge so that through him we, though guilty, might be acquitted before our just heavenly Judge.

(Luke 18:32; Is. 53:3; Ps. 9:9; Luke 1:52; 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Tim. 4:8)

Comment: Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, at a specific time and place, but the significance of his death extends to all times and places. Scripture describes it in several ways: he died for us, he died for our sins, and we died with him.


3.16 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Jesus “suffered death and was buried"?

That Jesus died, just like we do, showing that there is no sorrow he has not known, no grief he has not borne, and no price he was unwilling to pay to reconcile us to God. Jesus’ real death (confirmed by his burial) shows that he has taken on the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death. Rather than shrinking back, he endured death in order to overcome it. There is nothing we go through, not even death, that Jesus cannot redeem.

(Matt. 26:38-39; Is. 53:5; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:19)

Comment: The Creed says he “suffered death and was buried” but the statement is deeper and more profound than many of us imagine.


3.17 Why did Jesus have to suffer as he did?

Because grace is more abundant, and sin more serious, than we suppose. However cruelly we may treat one another, all sin is primarily against God. God condemns sin, yet never judges apart from grace. In giving Jesus to die for us, God took the burden of our sin into himself, where he judged it and removed it once and for all. The cross in all its severity reveals an abyss of sin endured and swallowed up by the suffering of divine love. Undoing sin and its consequences involves great cost to God — the price Jesus paid to make all things right, a price he willingly paid “for the joy that was set before him.”

(Ps. 51:4; Rom. 8:1, 3-4; 1 Cor. 1:18; 5:8; Col. 1:20; James 2:13; Heb. 12:2)

Comment: Sometimes because we are sheltered or don’t experience certain things we don’t often realize the depravity and cruelty that occurs in the world. But the suffering on the cross lays bare the depth of the pain and agony that Jesus endured to heal.  I’d just add … Sin has consequences other than death.  Sin doesn’t just cause death … Sin causes suffering (pain, sorrow, etc.).  Christ paid for everything that sin causes – suffering, as well as death.

3.18 What does the Creed affirm in saying about Jesus that "on the third day he rose again"?

That our Lord could not be held by evil and the power of death. Through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus overcame all evil and its ultimate consequence, renewing and restoring human nature to reach God’s intended purposes for all human beings. Jesus rose triumphant from the grave in a new, exalted kind of human life. In showing his followers the scars on his hands, feet and side, the one who was crucified revealed himself to them as the living Lord and Savior of the world.

(Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Luke 24:36-40; John 20:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:5-8; John 20:27)

Comment: When the Church Fathers crafted the Creed to say “rose on the third day,” it has a deep level of meaning, much deeper than we initially anticipate. It’s not just about a physical resurrection. Some words and phrases carry weight. For example, the term “marriage.”Its meaning is much more than just a legal ceremony, it encompasses the impact of the union of two people.


3.19 What does the Creed affirm in saying that Christ "ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father" and that he will “come again in glory”?

Forty days after his bodily resurrection, Jesus was taken up bodily and visibly into heaven to be with the Father. He did not leave his human nature behind, but remains fully human, though now glorified. One with us and with the Father, Jesus is the one mediator between human beings and God. As one of us, he continues his intercessions on our behalf. Though now visibly hidden from us, Jesus is not cut off from us in the remote past, nor is he in a place from which he cannot reach us. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present to us by grace. From heaven he reigns with the authority of the Father, protecting us, guiding us, and interceding for us until he returns visibly and bodily to earth in glory. We now live between the times of his first and second advents, awaiting his return.

(Acts 1:6-11; Col. 3:1, 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25)

Comment: Look at 1 Tim 2:5. You may not have noticed this but the scripture tells us that Jesus is still a man, that is he still retains his humanity even at the right hand of God.


3.20 What does the Creed mean when it says that Jesus, when he returns in glory, will “judge the living and the dead”?

Scripture teaches that all humans will stand in the general resurrection before the judgment seat of Christ. The Judge before whom they will stand is the one who submitted to God’s judgment for our sake. By him our sin is identified and judged as evil, and in him it is condemned to obliteration so that we can be separated from our sin and be saved in him from evil’s ultimate destruction. That is the grace of God’s judgment in Jesus Christ.

(John 5:22; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom. 14:10-11)


3.21 What will be the results of such a judgment?

Standing personally before the One who is their Lord and Savior, everyone will give an answer as to whether they will bow to him willingly and enter the kingdom of God prepared for them, or unwillingly bow and refuse to enter and exist under his gracious lordship forever. Thus, there will be a final separation of all those who repent and acknowledge their sin and their need for grace to deliver them from sin and be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and those who refuse to repent and receive God’s grace.

(Phil. 2:10-11)


3.22 What will be the spiritual condition of those who refuse to acknowledge their need for forgiveness, refuse to repent and confess their sin, and despise God’s grace for them in Jesus Christ?

All those who refuse will have rejected God’s righteous and merciful judgment in Christ, and the separation of themselves from their sin that is available in Christ. They will have come to the place of knowingly and deliberately blaspheming or repudiating the Spirit who draws them and extends to them forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God accomplished for them by Jesus according to the Father’s will. Clinging to their sin in pride, they will condemn God and justify themselves against God, charging God with being evil.

(Matt. 12:32; Heb. 2:3; 4:1-2; 6:3-6; 10:36-39)

Comment: This describes a situation where a person knowingly and deliberately rejects Christ. This is not a situation where a person is deceived or confused. This is an informed or consciously chosen decision.


3.23 What will be the ultimate consequences for those who self-righteously repudiate and despise God and all his benefits in Jesus Christ?

Repudiating God’s grace to deliver them from evil, bound to their sin, they will experience the ultimate condemnation of evil. They will experience this condemnation, not so much because of their sins, but because of their refusal to repent and the rejection of the grace extended to them through the merciful judgment executed upon sin for them in Jesus Christ.

(2 Cor. 5:10; Eccl. 12:14; Acts 17:31; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 4:17; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; Acts 10:42)

Comment: While God never stops loving people, it looks like there will be some sort of final separation from God. This is not driven by God’s desire to punish but the outcome of a final and blanket refusal to acknowledge Christ and the grace that he offers. If someone freely chooses not to be included, God is not going to force him or her to be so.


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